Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Urgency Emergency! Big Bad Wolf

Horn Book (January/February, 2014)
[star] Itsy Bitsy Spider [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary Whitman 48 pp. 9/13 978-0-8075-8358-6 $12.99 New readers are in for a treat with these British imports. Both are set in an emergency room where Doctor Glenda (a dog) and Nurse Percy (a rooster) ably and professionally assist the patients who arrive by ambulance from the pages of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. In Itsy Bitsy Spider, a brown kitty called Miss Muffet accompanies her injured spider friend, who had been hurt in an unfortunate waterspout accident and is in need of stitches. We see Doctor Glenda and Nurse Percy examine and treat the spider, much the way a human would be treated for a head wound, but with the comfort of a humorous situation. In Big Bad Wolf, the ambulance delivers a choking wolf, and the reader not only observes Nurse Percy overcome his fear of wolves but will also giggle through a most unusual Heimlich maneuver. Muted colors on a rich yellow background in a droll cartoon style keep the action light and to the point. Varying perspectives add to the fun, including one super-close-up of the wolf's enormous eyes and saliva-dripping teeth and another shot of Nurse Percy reacting to Grandma's feet sliding out of the wolf's mouth. A limited, easy-to-decode vocabulary in a large typeface will allow the emerging reader to confidently read and reread these delightful adventures. robin l. smith

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