The Pain and the Great One by Judy BlumeThe Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume

The Pain and the Great One

byJudy BlumeIllustratorDebbie Ridpath Ohi

Hardcover | June 3, 2014

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Judy Blume’s quintessential tale of sibling rivalry is as funny as ever—and has a fresh new look!

When an eight-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother take turns describing each other, it’s no surprise that “The Pain” and “The Great One” are the nicknames that emerge. As this duo debates whom Mom and Dad love most, their competition becomes increasingly humorous—because when it comes to family affection, there’s no such thing as win or lose.
Judy Blume is considered one of the world's best-known writers for young adults. She was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1938. She earned a degree in education. Blume has written over 20 books. Titles such as "Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret", "Then Again, Maybe I Won't", and "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" are widely recogniz...
Title:The Pain and the Great OneFormat:HardcoverDimensions:48 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:June 3, 2014Publisher:415231986Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481411462

ISBN - 13:9781481411462


Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing. a great book for young kids. my 8yr old loves JB books!
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two sides of the coin There are remarkably few authors that have managed to write for almost every single age group. Judy Blume is one of the few. Though admittedly she has yet to write a baby book or large print text for the elderly, Ms. Blume has somehow managed to write picture books, young readers, full chapter books, teen novels, and even an adult title in her day. We all know who Judy Blume is, but we probably know her for very different reasons. As a kid, I knew her primarily as the author of "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing". My husband, on the other hand, associates her with that deliciously forbidden text, "Forever". For some kids out there, though, "The Pain and the Great One" is going to be their first impression of this undeniably great author. As of this review, it is the only picture book ever written by Ms. Blume. Be that as it may, it shares with all her books the frustrations and confusions that all kids can relate to on some level. Ms. Blume, the great empathic, should consider adding a few more picture books to her repertoire. This first book demands it. A white page with a pink border. In black and white print are two words: The Pain. A sister then begins to relate to us exactly why it is that her little brother is a pain. Right from the start, you see where she's coming from. This is the kind of kid who insists that his mother carry him to the breakfast table every morning. Unlike his big sister, if The Pain doesn't finish his dinner he still gets dessert. A truly shocked and probably envious sister watches, broccoli perched on her fork, as her brother dives into a delicious bowl of what looks to be strawberry shortcake. One night, she gets to stay up later than The Pain, but comes to the almost immediate conclusion that, "without the Pain there's nothing to do!". The cat seems to prefer him and she finishes with the thought that when it comes to her parents, "I think they love him better than me". Suddenly we're looking at another white page with a pink border. In black and white print are three words: The Great One. Suddenly the perspective has shifted 180 degrees. We're in the head of The Pain and he's talking about his older sister. Sarcastically referring to her as The Great One, the boy talks about all the stuff she gets to do that he doesn't. She feeds the cat, so it must obviously like her better. She knows how to do all sorts of stuff without messing up. She swims with pleasure and isn't afraid to put her face in the water. The boy's final thoughts refer to his own parents as well. "I think they love her better than me". The end. The book was originally published in 1985. Reading it, I had to wonder if it could be published today. In the current publishing market, I can see well-meaning but oblivious department heads trying to convince Ms. Blume to give the story an ending where the boy and girl become best friends and everything ends up hunky-dory by the last page. I was a little shocked that on a first reading, this is exactly what I found myself expecting. No, what I expected was worse. Because when I got to the pink bordered "The Great One" page I suddenly thought that the story would show how much the little brother really and truly admires his older sister, even if she thinks he's annoying. There's probably a book like that out there somewhere. This book is not it. This is a book that tells it like it is. Sibling rivalry has never been so clear. Cleverly, Blume inserts tiny (I hesitate to call them) lessons into the story so that in the midst of each kid's litany of complaints, they learn things as well. The Great One learns that staying up late isn't fun without her horrid little brother. The Pain learns that playing with his sister's blocks all alone isn't fun in the least. If you're looking for anything more sappy than this, however, you're out of luck. This is Blume telling children what they already know, and kids will appreciate the honesty. Illustrator Irene Trivas puts her back into this book. It's funny, but depending on who's telling the story, the illustrations shift ever-so-slightly in their favor. When The Great One talks about The Pain, everything he does is understandably annoying. When the boy talks about his sister, on the other hand, she suddenly becomes infinitely competent, intelligent, and skilled. She's annoying in an entirely different way. Trivas also gives each kid some remarkable characteristics. The Great One tends to sport a cowboy hat with a bright green or red feather planted in the brim. The Pain wears a wide variety of hats ranging from goggles, winged helmets, and baseball caps to his own cowboy hat and football helmet. Trivas hasn't done any picture books quite as prominent as this one since its publication. Let us hope she gets rediscovered in the coming years.
Date published: 2009-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fan-tas-tic! One of the best books I've ever read. My kids love it when we start talking about point of view in class...but other than that, it's a great story.
Date published: 2003-11-19