The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
Written by Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrated by Suzanne Beaky
If you think YOU have a busy schedule, take a look at Ernestine Buckmeister's weekly

On Mondays she sculpts with Clay Lumpkin.
On Tuesdays she does water ballet with Miss Goldfisher.
On Wednesdays she knits with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem.   
On Thursdays she takes tuba lessons with Mr. Oompah.
On Fridays she yodels with Little Old Lady Hoo.
On Saturdays she studies karate with Grand Master HiYa!  
And on Sundays she practices yoga with Guru Prakash Pretzel

Her well-meaning, busy parents have packed her after-school hours, turning Ernestine
into the over-scheduled poster child of today.

But Ernestine is about to opt out and do what no Buckmeister has ever done before:
just PLAY.

Comstock  Book Award for the Best Read Aloud for Older Children - from Minnesota State University Moorhead
"The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky, and published by
Flashlight Press, received the
Comstock Book Award for the best read aloud for older children. The award is named in recognition
of the pioneering Moorhead family headed by Solomon G. Comstock, a Minnesota state senator and U.S. Congressman who is
considered the father of the Moorhead Normal School (now MSUM).
"Ernestine Buckmeister’s well-meaning parents zip out the door every day on their way to work, calling adages like “Live life to the
fullest!” and “Make every moment count!” to their daughter. Unfortunately, such mantras have manifested themselves in a busy extra
curricular schedule for young Ernestine. On Mondays, she has sculpting with Clay Lumpkin. On Tuesdays, Ernestine does water ballet
with Miss Goldfisher. Wednesdays consist of knitting with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem, while Thursdays mean tuba lessons with Mr.
Oompah. Fridays Ernestine yodels with Little Old Lady Hoo, Saturdays she does karate with Grand Master HiYa, and on Sundays,
Ernestine Buckmeister practices yoga with Guru Prakash Pretzel. Between her schedule and the nanny, Nanny O’Dear, to keep her
on task, Ernestine has no time for play! Until one day, Ernestine takes her schedule into her own hands.
"The use of vibrant colors adds a whimsical feel to Beaky’s acrylic illustrations. Double page spreads are effectively used to show the
stress in Ernestine’s life as well as the joy of play. Equally effective are the paneled paintings, which depict Ernestine at each of her
activities with plenty of detail and added humor.  
"Children in grades one through six enjoyed the wittiness of this book, laughing at the names of the teachers and their personalities.
They also appreciated the illustrations that were “filled with humor” and “did a great job conveying the book’s events.” Students
related to Ernestine’s busy life; one child even reported feeling like she was in the book. Readers appreciated the lessons to be
learned from this book, both for children, who need to remember to play and be kids, and parents, who need reminders to allow their
children time for themselves."

LibrarySparks Magazine, May/June 2013
"Ernestine's busy parents sign her up for every class and lesson in town and hire a nanny to keep her on schedule. But Ernestine envies
her neighbor Hugo, who entertains himself playing in his yard. So she "schedules" some free play time and draws Nanny O'Dear into
the magic. After a funny, frenzied search to find the off-schedule pair, her parents not only agree to compromise but discover the joys
of imaginative play for themselves.

From PW
Lodding makes her children’s book debut with an addition to the growing bookshelf of titles about overbooked and overworked
children. And like many of its predecessors, its message is more for the parents making the schedules and paying for the after-school
classes than for kids who, like Ernestine, innately know that bouncing on a trampoline and playing imaginary games outside beats an
exhausting week packed with organized activities. Both Lodding and Beaky (the Hailey Twitch series) deploy abundant humor to
make the story’s earnest message more palatable.
Lodding’s prose is studded with punny quips and names (Ernestine’s
instructors include sculptor Clay Lumpkin, yodeling expert Little Old Lady Hoo, and yoga guru Prakash Pretzel). For her part,
Beaky provides acrylic caricatures that really take off once Ernestine and her nanny start to mix up her schedule
(Ernestine is seen playing tuba during swim lessons and accidentally giving her knitting teacher a karate kick) and when Ernestine’s
parents try to track her down after Ernestine and Nanny O’Dear play hooky on a grassy hilltop.

From The Horn Book
One day overscheduled Ernestine bails on her lessons to do something outrageous: play. The book has a capital "M" message but also
lots of heart. Plus, there's amusement in Lodding's text (e.g., a yodeling teacher named "Little Old Lady Hoo") and in Beaky's
acrylics (e.g., Ernestine's fully clothed mother holds up a sign underwater asking Ernestine's swimming instructor where her daughter

From Kirkus Reviews
What does it mean to "live life to the fullest"?
Young Ernestine Buckmeister's parents pack her schedule, with a different activity daily after school, with yoga and karate on the
weekend. They've even hired brusque Nanny O'Dear to keep her on schedule. As mother says, "Make every moment count!"
Ernestine has no time to play, though it's clear from her longing looks at neighbor Hugo and his soccer ball that she wants to. The big
schedule board that covers a wall of her bedroom fills her with dismay. One afternoon, Ernestine rushes out the door past Nanny,
shouting, "Today I scheduled something new!" It's a trip to the park, to play with other kids. When the yodeling teacher calls home to
report Ernestine's absence, the news sends her parents into a tizzy. They visit all her activities, from knitting to water ballet to tuba
practice. Just following in their daughter's footsteps exhausts the Buckmeisters, and, when they spot her in the distance, they barely
have enough energy to trudge up a hill to meet her. Both Ernestine and Nanny seem happy and renewed. From that day forward,
sometimes it's activities, and sometimes..."she just played." There's great energy in both Lodding's storytelling and Beaky's bright acrylic
The valuable lesson is all the more effective for being shown, and not preached—though perhaps it's meant more for adults than the
children they are reading to.

From School Library Journal
Ernestine has a full schedule. Every day after school, she has a different lesson with a different teacher. Mondays, it’s sculpting with
Clay Lumpkin. Tuesdays, water ballet with Miss Goldfisher. On Sundays, Ernestine has yoga with Guru Prakash Pretzel. During one
of her meditation sessions, she has an idea. She convinces her Nanny O’Dear to play in the grass on the hilltop with her. When her
parents finally catch up with the pair, she talks them into slowing the pace a bit. Beautiful acrylic illustrations in vibrant colors show the
child’s myriad activities and frenzied lifestyle. However, the story seems to be written more for parents than children. Taking time to
play without a schedule is one of the overarching themes here, but Ernestine seems to realize this all along.

From Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"...The humorous text, replete with names like sculpture teacher Clay Lumpkin and karate Grand Master HiYa, holds a serious lesson
for over scheduling parents. Ernestine's unhappiness is clear on the jacket, where Beaky's acrylic paintings show her pulling a wagon
filled with equipment for her lessons, while she sorrowfully eyeballs Hugo at play and Nanny checks the schedule. Not quite cartoons,
the characters are more doll-like with naturalistic bodies and large, expressive eyes. Full and double-page scenes of action set the
stage for each activity, with characters designed to add to the humor."

From Library Media Connection - RECOMMENDED
"...This will be a fun story for kids to read to their parents. The comical illustrations will have readers engaged. A good read

From the
Michigan Reading Journal
Ernestine Buckmeister is a very busy girl. Her parents have every minute of every day planned out for her with the hopes that she
“lives life to the fullest”. In the end everyone learns that finding time to play is part of “living life to the fullest.” Children can easily relate
to Ernestine’s overscheduled life and will enjoy the beautiful illustrations. It’s sure to be a favorite.

Jessica's Reviews
First, I really like the illustrations in this book. They fully convey the emotions everyone is feeling and they are cute. Secondly, this serves as a
good reminder to let kids be kids, to be careful about how much we sign them up for. Last, I think it could serve as a teacher for children to
try to have an open communication with their parents about their wants, hopes, goals, dreams.

From The Play Lady
"Given my love for books -- my time at the Child Life Conference did not disappoint!  I was introduced to numerous books that I
cannot wait to get my hands on!   One of the books that I ordered as soon as I arrived home is entitled, The Busy Life of Ernestine
Buckmeister, by Linda Ravin Lodding.
This is a must have for any parent who values play!  Children today are not given the opportunity to imagine, create, and explore.
Instead, to much for their time is scheduled with various activities and high expectations.  This book explains how Ernestine was able
to get to the important stuff like rolling down a hill, building a treehouse, and explore with her friend.  When children are not able to
play outside, explore their world, and interact with others their cognitive, emotional and social development is impacted in a negative

From The International Journal of Play (Vol. 1, Issue 1, pages 105-106) - Read full review here
"Children at play – self-initiated play – unconsciously live the wisdom of breathing in and breathing out with effort that leaves one
refreshed rather than depleted. As Ernestine’s story demonstrates, both children and adults experience this sense of wellbeing and
refreshment in mindful activities. We would all do well to ponder Ernestine’s experience – then take a moment to sit, breathe, calm the
mind, be curious and open, letting our clear mind engage playfully with what we find there.
Lodding’s text and Beaky’s bright and quirky illustrations draw one to
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister. The theme of the
crowded daily life sustains your interest as you see yourself in both Ernestine and her well-meaning parents…. Lodding’s book comes
at a time when one finds articles on mindfulness practice for both children and parents in health blogs, newsletters, educational articles,
newspapers, magazines, and the national news.
Lodding and Beaky playfully point to the importance of play, finding practices that reorient us to that importance when we lose our
way so we live life to the fullest, making every moment count – inhale, exhale, discovering the wisdom of play!" --Sharon Solloway,
Ph.D., Professor, Mindsets and Mindfulness Practice, Bloomsburg University of PA

From Baltimore's Child
"Lodding and illustrator Suzanne Beaky have created a quirky, funny story that reinforces the importance of free, unstructured play."

From The Portland Book Review
Ernestine Buckmeister is a busy young lady. Her well-meaning parents have scheduled nearly every minute of her after school life. The
Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, by Linda Ravin Lodding, is a funny story about a girl with too much to do. On Mondays she has
sculpting class with Clay Lumpkin. On Tuesdays she practices water ballet with Miss Goldfisher. On Wednesdays she knits with Pearl
Stitchem. On Thursdays she plays the tuba with Mr. Oompah. On Fridays she yodels with Little Old Lady Who and her weekends
are filled with karate and yoga practice! Ernestine has no time to play. One day she decides to make her own schedule. She drags her
nanny to the park and together they make daisy chains, build a fort, and have fun in nature.
Hilarity ensues when Ernestine’s parents
search for her, visiting the locations of each of their daughter’s lessons. Will they ever realize why Ernestine always seems so frazzled?
Parents and children will appreciate the lesson that there should be balance in life – time for lessons and time for playing.
Beaky’s acrylic illustrations are masterful and truly enjoyable. Each page holds new details to discover. This book is
bound to become a family favorite.

From Bayviews
"This debut picture book makes its point perfectly.... The illustrations... show a frenzy of activity.... A helter-skelter of varying
perspectives, diagonal lines, falling objects, and crowded calendars sporting Post-It notes all contribute to the frantic mood of the

From the South Sound Book Review Council of Washington - Rating: Highly Recommended
The folks who really need to read this book are those parents out there who are so determined that their children live life to the fullest
and make every moment count that they over schedule their lives, leaving them little time to just be kids.  Ernestine’s parents are like
that.  Ernestine has a packed schedule, with different activities every day.  As she dashes off to one class or another, she looks
longingly at the little boy next door, playing independently in his yard.  One day when she revolts and schedules some play time in the
park instead of showing up at her usual class, her parents make the rounds of all her classes trying to locate her.  Before they finally do
locate her, they’ve gotten a taste of how exhausting Ernestine’s usual schedule is, and the family makes some changes, with some new
ideas about what it means to live life to the fullest.  
The illustrations are bright and silly, adding to the sense of absurdity to it

Good Reads with Ronna
Just the title, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister  made me want to read this book. Written by Linda Ravin Lodding, this is a
story written as much for parents as it is for kids....In this age of overachieving children and over-parenting parents, this book teaches
a valuable lesson – that kids are kids, and they need their playtime. In addition to the wonderful storyline, you and your child will love
the fabulously creative and colorful illustrations by Suzanne Beaky as much as I do. If you are the type of parent who over-schedules
your children’s activities, this book will make you see things in a new and brighter light. You’ll want to take your child and run through
a park, throw a ball or just sit on a blanket and look up at the clouds together. Ernestine Buckmeister teaches you there’s simply no
better way to spend your time.

From Metro Family Magazine, Oklahoma City
After juggling a different activity each day of her overscheduled life, Ernestine breaks free for a day of playing at the park, reminding
kids and adults alike about the importance of including fun and simple childhood wonder on every agenda.

From The New York Journal of Books
"The illustrator has created beautiful and detailed artwork that really helps emphasize Ernestine and her crazy life. The images are
creative and funny. Children ... will delight in the moral of the story: Sometimes a kid just needs to have time to play, have fun, and
exercise only the imagination."

From KaBOOM!
"This book is a joyful and funny reminder to kids and parents alike about the importance and power of play. ...Our children will
all be happier and healthier if we lessen all those lessons and get out to play." --Darell Hammond,
New York Times best-selling author
and CEO of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to creating community play spaces within walking distance of every child in
the US.

From Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, co-author of The Over-Scheduled Child
“This charming children’s book about Ernestine, the over-scheduled poster child of today, has a lovely message delivered in an
elegant and straightforward way: Maybe we would do better if we could add some real play back into our hurried lives.  Maybe living
life to the fullest has to include time to imagine and just be.
I love this book; it is a wonderful accomplishment, beautifully – and
playfully – illustrated. Bravo!
” --Alvin Rosenfeld, MD, co-author, “The Over-Scheduled Child,” Lecturer, Harvard University
School of Medicine

From Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic: A Manifesto for a Different Way of Living
"Like all the best children's books, when an adult reads about Ernestine Buckmeister, they're the ones who are learning the real life
lessons. Linda Lodding and Suzanne Beaky deliver a funny, pertinent and moving message to all moms and dads about the dangers of
over-scheduling - and about the transforming, re-energising benefits of play, for all ages and stages. Kids will love it too - but, of
course, they already understand..."

From Dr. Peggy Sharp
Dr. Sharp has listed The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister in her workshop handbook for teachers and librarians: "It certainly is
a timely topic
, and I do hear people responding favorably." Dr. Peggy Sharp is one of the foremost experts in North America on
children's literature and literature programs. She is well known for her presentations about new children's books, connecting the books
to all areas of the curriculum, and motivating children to read. Read more about Dr. Sharp and her workshops at

From award-winning children's book author Tammi Sauer
"Ernestine Buckmeister is on the go-go-go every day of the week. When she's not yodeling, knitting, tuba-playing, and karate
chopping, she's busy doing water ballet, sculpting, and mastering yoga poses. But...she longs for something more. In this wildly funny
take on the life and times of an over-scheduled kid,
Ernestine is a character worth celebrating." --Tammi Sauer, award-winning
author of
Cowboy Camp, Chicken Dance, Mostly Monsterly, and Mr. Duck Means Business

From Librarian of Snark blog
"This is a great picture book that should appeal to today's overscheduled child. ...I really like the goofy illustration style of this. This
would be a great book for the parents of these overscheduled kids!"

From Author Christine Hohlbaum
“Take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it for all it’s worth!” That’s what my mama likes to say. But how can you grab life and
give it a nudge if you don’t have any strength? Play is the best way to access your scruff-of-the-neck vision.
This October author Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrator Suzanne Beaky will release a most delightful tale of Ernestine Buckmeister,
the most overbooked child on the planet. Her well-meaning parents assign her to daily afternoon lessons ranging from yoga to
yodelling to knitting to karate. She longingly watches her neighbor Hugo bounce around his yard while she dashes from one
appointment to the next (with the help of her nanny, aptly named Nanny O’Dear). One day she strikes all her time commitments to
watch the clouds and discovers a whole new world of creativity in the park.
Once again Nature plays a central role in capturing our amazing imaginations. When the parents learn Ernestine has gone missing from
one of her lessons, they attempt to track her down at each of them. By the time they end up in the park, they are frazzled. It’s a
beautiful moment of realization that life can be lived to the fullest by simply being who you are.
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is
a  great power of slow read for kids ages 4 to 8 and the parents who love them.

From the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review:
"Linda Ravin Lodding teaches an important lesson in her story without being didactic, but with charming characters and happenings.
The brilliant illustrations of Suzanne Beaky are an absolute treat, full of fun and telling details in bright colors."

From Anakalian Whims blog

... thought The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister by Linda Ravin Lodding quite fabulous.  More of a cautionary tale for adults at the
amusement of children than just a children’s story book, it was engaging and fun, and had the kid’s best interest at heart.  I think its
easy for parents these days to over-schedule their children’s extra curriculars, and this book clearly helps define the line between living
life to the fullest and creating a hot mess of a child’s day-to-day schedule.

From Momma's Bacon blog
An effective children’s story will reach and hold the interest of the intended audience and the (adult) reader and the beautifully
illustrated The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister hits close to home.  While my husband and I try and strike a good balance in giving
our daughter lots of independent play, I realized that it was me who is no stranger to overextending myself at times in my life and I
really want to make sure to scale back when I do because I do not want this bad habit to rub off on my daughter.  In fact, I am going
to take Ernestine’s advice and will start relaxing a bit on my daily Momma’s Bacon blog posts.  I would so love to do this blog as an
actual career with multiple daily posts, but the reality is this is a fun, non-paying (passionate) hobby that I love -and maybe even one
day it could be a career – but right now it does take a lot of time in between my work and family duties and I think my readers would
understand if I only posted a few times each week instead of every day.  In the (paraphrased) words of Paul Simon’s “The 59th
Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”, I’m going to slow down since I’ve been moving too fast.  My readers are probably a lot like
myself; have a full-time job to pay the bills on top of trying to be the best spouse and parent they can be and sometimes we can forget
to take time to relax without any self-inflicted deadlines.  If any of you have children out there who can relate to being too busy or this
hits home personally as a parent, you will love this read and Ernestine Buckmeister’s outlook in taking control of her too busy life.
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is about a young girl whose schedule is filled with lots of fun and interesting after-school
activities that leave her no time to sit and think with her own relaxed, free-spirited play.  She feels overbooked and overworked and
since her life is just following in the footsteps of her own busy parents (Ernestine has a nanny to help her keep track of all her
activities!), Ernestine has decided to take matters into her own hands by skipping out on her classes to give herself a moment to just
breathe.  Living life to the fullest for Ernestine is not filling every moment with a scheduled activity and her parents (who do realize they
are also completely exhausted after going into a tailspin) have the sense to give Ernestine the ability to cut down on her scheduled life
going forward and give her time to just play.  This as a great read for both parents and children and don’t forget to take a look at your
own busy schedules for any ways to cut down to maximize your family’s own personal play time.

From Marjolein Books Blog
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a hilarious picture book about an overscheduled girl. Ernestine has the most absurd after
school life you can imagine, but never time to do the things she actually wants, her parents think it is best for her to do as much as
possible educational en engaging activities, not keeping in mind that Ernestine can be tired after school or just wants to play ball with
Hugo. An important message for all the parents in the real word who overschedule their children’s after school life these days. All of
Ernestine’s teachers have a name that suits with the activity they teach: Tuba lessons by Mister Oompah, Yoga by Guru Prakash
Pretzel and karate with grand master HiYa. The book is illustrated beautiful by Suzanne Beaky. I think every reader, young and old,
will fall in love with this colorful book!

From Inspired by Savannah blog
What a fun and entertaining book this is.

From Busy Bee School
"...There's lots to do in life that's lots of fun, but Mr. and Mrs. Buckmeister find out the hard way that too much stuff to do, and not
enough time for play and relaxation, can cause anyone to be a bit frazzled. This is a charming book that parents can laugh with and
learn from as they're reminded of what it's like to be a kid."

From Perfect Picture Book Friday
"Kids will enjoy Ernestine's ridiculous schedule, her amusing list of lessons, her teachers' funny names, the bold bright colors of the
pictures, and Ernestine's inspired solution to her problem."

From NY Journal of Books and Crypto-Capers
“In this story the author captures the chaotic life of most children and their parents… The illustrator has created beautiful and detailed
artwork that really helps emphasize Ernestine and her crazy life. The images are creative and funny.”

From There's a Book for That blog
"So many kids would be able to relate to Ernestine's dilemma, from elementary-aged children all the way through high school. The
activities may be different, but the feelings are the same."

From OC Family blog
Play Mom blogger Michele Whiteaker said: "I like the happy illustrations and especially the rich imagination that comes to life on the
play pages with funny pets and funky facial expressions. What I really love is the message that sometimes what’s best for our kids is
time to play."

From The Corner on Character blog
The Importance of Being Ernestine
Think you know what it means to be over-scheduled? Think again. My Flashlight Press preview copy of The Busy Life Of Ernestine
Buckmeister by author Linda Ravin Lodding came in today's mail and I cannot wait until October, when Ernestine makes her debut on
the children's literature stage, and you get to meet the queen of the extracurricular.
The scene is all-too familiar: this precious prodigy can't ever play with her friend over the fence because she's rushing off to the next
event on her calendar, kindly kept by Nanny O'Dear. Her parents, who've advised "live life to the fullest" and "make every moment
count," have her scheduled solid with something extra every day of the week - sculpting and swimming, taking musical arts and martial
arts, yodeling and yoga, knitting and no free time. She is one busy beaver!
And guess what? Just like a beaver, she'd rather be playing around outside. So Ern concocts the perfect plan to ditch her personal
PDA and, when she doesn't show up on schedule one day, her parents get to walk in her shoes for a spell, crossing the bridge she
built between what the child-in-her needs and what her parents want for their little girl. Not only do they get a healthy dose of
empathy, but they ultimately learn a very valuable lesson about the importance of being Ernestine.  
The eye-catching illustrations by Suzanne Beaky totally pop off of the pages, adding a marvelous magic to this terrific text. Put this one
on your wish list; it'll undoubtedly serve an important reminder (that you'll want to revisit time and time again!) about encouraging your
busy beavers to engage in purposeful play.

From Access Magazine, The Netherlands (see page 35)
In her new book, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, Netherlands-based author, Linda Lodding gives us a glimpse into
Ernestine's world of rigid schedules, where afterschool time is spent exclusively on taking more classes. What Ernestine really longs to
do is play in the park with her friends. This book, which reminds us that a happy life is a balanced life, is
a delightful read that is
enhanced by a cast of
colourful characters and humorous illustrations by Suzanne Beaky.

From Bookfoolery and Babble blog
"...a meaningful but nicely silly story with cheerful, goofy, colorful illustrations. The author was particularly clever at naming
Ernestine's teachers. She takes sculpting from Mr. Lumpkin. Mrs. Goldfisher teaches water ballet. Mrs. Stichem is her knitting
instructor. Karate is taught by Grand Master Hi Ya. Nanny O'Dear says "Oh, Dear," quite a bit as she finds Ernestine's calendar of
activities complex enough to make the occasional error. Illustration-wise, I particularly love the fact that the "cast" -- teachers, friends
and classmates -- is ethnically mixed. And, Ernestine's two cats add a bit of adorable fun to the depictions of Ernestine's home
interior. The bottom line: A
bright and playfully illustrated, immensely clever story about how living life to the fullest can be
accomplished without exhausting oneself by cramming in as many activities as possible...."

From Midwest Book Review
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a paean to play, especially for kids. Well-meaning adults end up pressuring children to
fulfill busy schedules of performance expectations without realizing that one of the most precious experiences only children will have is
free time to play, experiment, imagine, and just be. Ernestine’s busy life should be fully satisfying, with sculpting, water ballet, knitting,
tuba lessons, yodeling, karate lessons, and yoga. But something is missing, even though the Buckmeisters hire Nanny O’Dear to help
keep Ernestine on schedule. Ernestine begins to look pale and tired. What Ernestine would really like to do is just spend some time
playing ball outdoors with Hugo, her neighbor. Ernestine decides to schedule something new for herself. This alarms her parents, who
are unable to find her at any of her exhausting, scheduled activities. Finally they find her on top of a big hill, just looking at clouds and
inhaling, enjoying the view, with Nanny O’Dear. All adults gradually see the light, and though Ernestine continues to do some of her
scheduled activities, sometimes she just plays!
The vibrant, colorful illustrations help lift each page of spunky narration. The
Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister will appeal to overachieving kids of all ages, or 4-8.

From Wonder of Children blog
Lodding’s tongue-twisting names,  hilarious text, and lessons on the importance of play are complimented by Suzanne Beaky’s
whimsical illustrations.  It’s a combination that immediate attracts and then sustains the readers’ attention to create a lasting story that
lets us all find personal connections. Ernestine is sure to earn her place among such classic literary  heroines as Clementine, Eloise,
Madeline, Ramona and Junie B. Jones!

From My
"...The text is filled with lively action and the illustrations are fun with a bit of whimsy. I could see it as a huge favorite in library
storytime, and what child wouldn't like seeing the story child teach the parents something new?"

From The Childrens Book Review blog
...Linda Ravin Lodding’s amusing send-up to overscheduled children who don’t have time to frolic and just enjoy being kids imparts a
very wise lesson disguised as a comic adventure tale.... Suzanne Beaky’s lightheartedly silly illustrations, of Ernestine’s teachers like
Pearl Stitchem, Grand Master Hi Ya and Mr. Oompah, make this book even more playful and fun.

From Tortoise on the Loose blog
"...While the book’s message can be sobering, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is far from serious. This light-hearted story will
entertain any elementary school-aged child as they read about Ernestine knitting with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem and practicing yoga with
Guru Prakash Pretzel. The illustrations by Suzanne Beaky are bright and engaging."

From The Children's Book Review blog
" amusing send-up to overscheduled children who don’t have time to frolic and just enjoy being kids imparts a very wise lesson
disguised as a comic adventure tale.

From Mommy Secrets blog
"...This book is packed full of character lessons around goal-setting, communication, integrity, social skills, time management, planning,
decision-making, and family relationships.  It’s a great tool for teachers, counselors, librarians and parents."

From SFC (Stories for Children): Families Matter blog
"...The book is entertaining but also offers food for thought on just how we plan our time with our children. What is important to you
and your child? The story will be read over and over again bringing an opportunity for frank discussions about what activities matter
and what can be changed or eliminated .Take time to read this with your child today. You will be glad for the moments shared."

From Imagination Soup blog
One of Best New Picture Books for Emotional Intelligence

From PlayEverything blog
"...It’s no wonder that she’s exhausted, and regular readers will be entirely unsurprised to hear that what she really needs is more time
to play. Beautifully illustrated and charmingly written,The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a funny, warm-hearted and insightful
story about one child’s need and right to play – and how she cleverly educates the adults around her about the importance in play in
everyday life...."

From Parent Pages News
This is a charming book to share with kids and parents as the new school year gets underway.  There will be many new things kids
will beg to get involved in, but wise parents will make room for lots of “free” time as well. This would be a great book to add to a
school lending library.

From Once Upon a Book blog
"...Linda Lodding does a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the story with a reminder to “live life to the fullest!” A good message,
certainly. But before long, Linda has the reader questioning this motto and how people can take it to unhealthy extremes. After all,
how can poor Ernestine live life to the fullest if she never has time to play?
I must confess an immediate attraction to Suzanne Beaky’s colorful illustrations. The characters’ expressions are poignant without
becoming exaggerated. The character placement and attention to detail encourage the reader to imagine and relate with all the silly and
funny elements, while emphasizing a real concern over burning out due to an overabundance of activities. My favorite illustration, by
far, is of Ernestine  with her arms thrown wide open, inviting the characters around her and the reader to stop and inhale.
I love it when I stumble into – or have sent my way by well-meaning souls – a book that speaks to adults as much as it speaks to
children. Linda Lodding does this very well. She reminds adults, children, and the parents and caregivers who love them about the
importance of play without being preachy. While this book is aimed at children ages 5 and up, I highly recommend it to parents and
caregivers as well for its insight into the mind of a child who is suffering more than benefiting from a packed schedule.
This picture book encourages the reader to ask questions such as: What does it mean to live life to its fullest? How can we encourage
our children to live life to the fullest? Why are learning activities such as the ones Ernestine participates in considered essential to
having a full life? What is the importance of play?
I’d like to thank Linda for sending this wonderful book my way for review. It came at the most opportune time where “busy” has
become synonymous to my name. It has reminded me to stop and inhale and remember what is most important. And to get back to
blogging kidlit!"

From Pink and Green Mama blog
Your book looks adorable, I love the message you’re sending. It’s our parenting philosophy for our two girls. Right now is the time
for them to be kids and play; they can have schedules and busy routines later in life when they’re adults (if they want to).
-- MaryLea Harris

rom Librarians, Teachers, and Parents
As they encourage their daughter to “live life to the fullest” and “make every moment count,” Ernestine Buckmeister’s parents haven’t
a clue that their over-scheduled child has no time for that all important activity: play… imaginative, self-directed play!  In reply to their
well-meaning directive, Ernestine can only yawn from exhaustion. By the end of this revealing romp through her adult-inspired week,
Ernestine, her parents and her nanny have all learned the importance of child’s play. Hopefully, parents reading this delightful book
with their children will absorb this lesson, as well. --Davis James, Lower School Librarian, Pace Academy

From Modernizing Mary Poppins blog
"...The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister... embodies what I believe is so vital for children. It’s done in such a fun way. I
loved the idea of losing track of what you are supposed to be doing, when, and where. I get being that nanny who needed to juggle it
all. I understand the child saying no to it all, and the caregiver supporting her in her decision!
The illustrations by Suzanne Beaky
are fabulous.
My charges love them. To us they added so much to the written words I read to the children. They are colorful and
funny. I also am pleased to announce that when I was in a vintage store recently I came across a hat that looks very similar to Nanny
O’Dear’s. It now sits on my mantle at my home.This is a great book for children and their parents. Also, when a nanny colleague
looked at it the other day she smiled and said, "I must get a copy of this book too."

From Once Upon a Storyville
"This books is a a brilliant reminder of what truly is important and where the true joys of childhood are found."  

From Fans:

As the mother of 6 years old twins with very busy schedules, I loved this book. Entertaining and fun - it's a lesson for parents as well
as kids. I just decided NO classes this Summer...just lots of time playing, playgrounds and the beach! -Leanne Schild, 6/9/2011

Dear Linda,
My son and I really enjoyed meeting you at The English Bookshop on Sunday.
Your book has become a firm favourite with my
little people. The message is joyful, playful and real in this busy world.
Personally, I felt so inspired by you. I have been writing
for a while now and recently attended an event about getting your book published. I was very disheartened. After meeting you I have
worked on my two stories again and feel more optimistic that some day a child other than my own will enjoy them!
Thank you so very much for your story and Ernestine's.
I wish you every success.
Be well,
Anna O'Kane

What an adorable book!  It teaches all of us a very valuable lesson.  Sometimes it’s best to just play and not be overscheduled.  This
book is perfect for elementary students and all of us type “A” moms who need to be reminded our little ones just need time to play! -
Teresa Webb, Media Specialist, Jackson Primary School, Atlanta, GA
Barnes & Noble
Your Local Bookstore
Hardcover, 32 color pages, ages 4-8
ISBN 9780979974694, October 2011
Read excerpts from a New York Times article,
"Effort to Restore Children's Play
Gains Momentum"
Learn to yodel with child yodeling sensation
Taylor Ware. She even sings the name of
one of our characters, Little Old Lady Hoo!
Fascinating interview with author
Linda Lodding on Playborhood.
Comstock Read Aloud Book Award 2012
2011 ABC Best of Books Catalog pick
Delaware Diamonds Award list 2012-13
About Us
Subscribe to
our Newsletter
Review Copies,
& Appearances
Authors and
Our Books
Flip through
Picture Books That Explore and Illuminate
for Home
or Class
Lexile Measure: 720L
Mean Sentence Length: 8.82
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.18
Word Count: 873
Peek inside by clicking the cover