Reckless Rudy and the Green Vase by R.M. Smith
When Rudy’s mom brings home a beautiful, old green vase given to her by their aunt, Rudy manages to smash the priceless antique. He will soon step into a weird and wacky, afternoon adventure of chases and flight.
This is a children’s book which would be suitable for reading with younger children about five or six years old, or for reading alone for seven year olds upward.
The basic story is of a very badly behaved boy who bullies his siblings, tells lies and steals, and is rude to everybody.
The illustrations are very detailed, interesting and age appropriate. The mother uses threats to get the children to be careful not to break a very precious vase, but Rudy still manages to smash it to pieces. Then follows an adventure when he falls down a sinkhole and bumps his head and has a fantasy dream, flies above the earth and meets his brother and sister as transformations of themselves.
He then recovers as a reformed boy, saying he will not bully his brother and sister again. A satisfying tale and a good ending. The story is simply written, the pace is good and it has a good appeal for children.
A couple of criticisms that I would add is that firstly, there is a bit of age inappropriate language when Rudy is flying back towards earth and has a ‘serene sense of being’, not the sort of abstract thinking a small child would have, and secondly there is no final sense of justice, which children like, as he does not get to confess to breaking the vase. Nevertheless this is an entertaining read.