From Publisher's Weekly

 …Both Lodding and Beaky (the Hailey Twitch series) deploy abundant humor… 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…"

From Kirkus Review

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...great energy in both Lodding's storytelling and Beaky's bright acrylic illustrations. The valuable lesson is all the more effective for being shown, and not preached…


From School Library Journal

…Beautiful acrylic illustrations in vibrant colors show the child’s myriad activities and frenzied lifestyle. Taking time to play without a schedule is one of the overarching themes here, but Ernestine seems to realize this all along.”


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-aloud...."


From The Horn Book

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…


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 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 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….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 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 Slow Family Online

“…The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is completely charming. It’s message delivered I a gently, funny way, with cute plays on words and illustrations that are cheerful, colorful and winning. The repetition and order of words and of Ernestine’s routine would appeal to young children. It’s quite easy to imagine this book becoming a favorite of children and parents as well as a wonderful reminder of the importance of slowing down for childhood and play.”


From Mommy Secrets blog

“I just had the delight of reading The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister…It’s a beautiful picture book with bright, bold illustrations and clever text. It addresses the issue of over-commitment in a head-on fashion, but its comical tone makes for a great character-building book. I giggled aloud when I read the characters names to my 5-year old daughter. 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 teacher, counselors, librarians and parents.


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…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.

 ... 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 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 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 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…

Ernestine’s busy life should be fully satisfying, with sculpting, water ballet, knitting, tuba lessons, yodeling, karate lessons, and yoga. But something is missing..

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 Shelf.com

"...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 Adventures with Kids blog:

“Often in today’s busy, stressed, hardworking world it can be easy to forget to take time to stop and pay…A new picture book by Linda Ravin Lodding – The Busy life of Ernestine Buckmeister – provide the perfect opportunity for parents and children to snuggle together and consider if thy are allowing enough time in their schedule for play.


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….a book that speaks to adults as much as it speaks to children…

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 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


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 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 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

"My son and I really enjoyed meeting you at The English Bookshop on Sunday. Your book has become a firm favorite 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!"  -- A. 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