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Review of Big Bad Wolf and Itsy Bitsy Spider

archer_big bad wolfstar2 Big Bad Wolf [Urgency Emergency!]
by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author
Primary    Whitman    48 pp.
9/13    978-0-8075-8352-4    $12.99

star2 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) archer_itsy bitsy spiderably 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.

From the January/February 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Robin Smith About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.

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