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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Ralphie's plan for the summer is pretty straight forward: television, television, and more television. He was NOT going to play dolls with his sister. When she asked for his help to get rid of a spider, Ralphie didn't see the big deal ... until Alyssa said the spider was getting ready to eat her. Really? A spider? How bad could it be? This is a fantasy picture book about a brother and sister told in rhyme. It comes with a CD.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading read aloud book.
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 7 to 9
Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: As soon as our daughter saw the spider with 12 eyes, she wanted to read this book. She enjoyed the story and has read it several times, but she has been more interested in learning the song on the CD. She has been quoting from it for days.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a cute story, and kids will instantly see themselves in Ralphie and Alyssa. The author presents an underlying message about watching too much television (or at least scary movies), but it will likely be lost on most readers interested in the book. There is nothing frightening in the book, but I wouldn't read it with kids under 6.
Pros: A cute monster-spider and a rhyming story make this fun to share with kids.
Cons: If you don't like books where kids seem to be unsupervised (like being able to watch TV all day), you will likely be disappointed with this book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a cute story. Because the CD offers both music and an audio reading of the story kids can "read" this book on their own, too.
Educational Themes: In addition to talking about your imagination gone wild, there are also themes of sibling responsibility, daydreams, and compromise.
Notes: The publicist representing the author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub® for review consideration because we provide independent, unbiased profiles. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, rhyming book, fantasy, family
Date(s) Reviewed: January 2010
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