Annie and Simon
The Sneeze and Other Stories
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
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Little sister, big big brother, and (mostly) good friends — Annie and Simon are back in a second wry and warmhearted early chapter book.
Annie loves to draw and fill sheets of paper with the things she sees around her. But if Simon has trouble figuring out what her scribbles show, what’s a big brother to do? And when Annie squeezes Hazel the dog to make her purr, can Simon help it if it sounds more like grumbling? Hazel is very useful in finding Annie’s stolen chestnuts, but it’s Simon who gently persuades his little sister that the bushytailed suspects might need them back. Whether her problems are big or small, Annie knows she can count on Simon to help her solve them. When Simon himself starts to sneeze, Annie finally sees her chance to take on the helper role as only she can — with chatty zeal and haphazard determination.
Catharine O’Neill is the illustrator of many books for children. Originally from Toronto, she now lives in upstate New York with her family and a small red dog named Hazel.
Annie tickled Simon’s foot with her green comb.
"Yoo-hoo, big brother! Guess what I’ve been
Simon looked up. "What, Annie?"
"Fixing Hazel’s hair," said Annie. "When I grow
up, I’m going to be a hairdresser."
Simon looked at Hazel. Then he turned a page.
"There’s an idea," he said.
Annie combed the hair on top of Simon’s head straight up. She combed the sides straight out. She patted the back down flat. Annie looked at Simon’s head.
"Can I fix your hair, Simon?"
"My hair?" said Simon.
"Hazel hardly has any," said Annie.
Simon stopped reading and sat up. "My hair doesn’t need fixing, Annie."
"It does, too, Simon. Hold still."
Annie laid out the cards. "My turn," she said.
Annie picked up two cards and put them back.
Hazel jumped up and licked Simon’s hairdo. "Hazel, lie down," said Simon. Hazel didn’t.
Simon picked up two cards and two cards and two cards.
"She’ll listen to me, Simon. Hazel, LIE DOWN!"
But Hazel didn’t.
"There," she said. "Now you look pretty."
Annie held up a mirror and showed Simon his new hairdo.
"Holy cow!" said Simon.
"Now let’s play cards," said Annie.
Soon Annie’s hair was all done. And it wouldn’t come undone.
"Eeeeeek!" said Annie.
Hazel leaped and barked at Annie’s hairdo.
"HAZEL, LIE DOWN!" said Annie.
But Hazel didn’t.
"Hey, I won!" said Simon.
"Let’s not play cards," said Annie.
"You know, Annie," said Simon, "if you’re going to be a hairdresser, aybe you should give yourself a new hairdo."
Simon went back to reading his book.
Annie picked up the comb. She combed her hair up and down and all around.
"Hey, this is fun," she said.
"Lord love a duck," said Simon. "It really is stuck."
Simon twisted Annie’s comb a little this way and a little that.
"Ouch!" said Annie. "Maybe I won’t be a hairdresser, Simon. I could be . . . a baker."
"Huh," said Simon. "There’s an idea."
"Can I have a cookie, Simon?"
"What’s up?" asked Simon. He came over to have a look. "Annie, what have you done?"
Annie pulled her sweater over her head. "I wound up my hair and it’s all stuck."
"Let me see," said Simon.
Annie took the sweater off her head.
"There," said Simon. "Now you have your old hairdo back."
Annie held up the mirror to see.
Then she tapped Simon’s head. "Simon, Simon, look! Hazel’s lying down!"
"At last," said Simon. "Here, Annie. Have another cookie."
Simon found a pair of scissors.
"Hold still, Annie. I’ll cut the comb to bits."
"Aaaaaagh!" said Annie.
One by one, Simon snipped off each tooth of Annie’s comb. He wiggled the comb a little this way and a little that. Then he pulled the comb from Annie’s hair.
Annie and Simon munched on their cookies.
"You know what, Simon?"
Annie scratched Hazel’s tummy. "When I grow up, I’m going to be a dog trainer."
Simon took a bite of his cookie. "There’s an idea," he said.
ANNIE AND SIMON by Catharine O'Neill. Copyright (c) 2008 by Catharine O'Neill. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.