Labels, spoken or unspoken, have the power to shape a child’s life as people temper their responses when a child is categorised as ‘a bully’ or as ‘an angel’. ‘Naughty’ Nina of the title is tired of being nice all the time and switches from barf-making goodness to extravagant naughtiness in a transition that is a tiny journey of discovery.
The lively illustrations show adult characters treated to some particularly tight lipped and determined expressions as Nina transmogrifies. Pages almost shake with the chaos she wreaks. But being naughty all the time can lose its appeal just as being nice did. What should Nina do? Her dilemma is amusingly resolved in a way that young readers will respond to.