Monday, November 30, 2020

The Icky Bigsy Spider! Stink and the Scary Hairy Spider by Megan McDonald

Stink was on a roll, ... in the zone..., cuckoo-crazy for origami. He folded junk mail, Post-it notes, bubble-gum wrapers. Easy Peasy!

Stink folded a dollar bill into an origami jumping frog and took it outside to the corner of the backyard for its maiden hop test. Wow!

Where'd it go? The test is too successful! He can't find the frog--which is also his lunch money for the next day. Stink searches through the weeds in the corner until--YIKES! WHAT'S THAT?

Stink saw something pink. It was several pink things..., big hairy legs...., joined to a big hairy head with a buzillion eyes!

It's giant, hairy tarantula with pink toes!

Stink's usual spider phobia turns into full-blown terror. He has to swallow his pride and ask his sarcastic sister Judy Moody for help finding his lunch money. But Judy can't find his dollar OR the giant spider. Stink calls on his friend Webster, who loves spiders. He's not called WEB-ster for nothin' and he pronounces Stink ARACHNOPHOBIC!

And when Stink and Webster meet a girl who is actually searching for her lost pink-toed tarantula, Webster gallantly offers their services in finding her pet, requiring Stink to undergo Web's guaranteed psychological cure for spider phobia, exposure therapy, by way of eight-legged origami tarantulas creeping up his arm.

Facing fear is not unknown to Stink, but in Megan McDonald's latest in her best-selling series, Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider (Candlewick Press, 2020), Stink's cognitive behavior therapy is a complete success. Plenty of easy reading adventures with lots of laughs along the way make this one a fine addition to author McDonald's very successful Judy Moody and Stink favorites for kids just venturing into novel-reading. With laugh-out-loud episodes and filled with page-turning fun with drawings by ace illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, this one a worthy entry in McDonald's standout series. Says School Library Journal, "Short chapters delineate the story and provide an opportunity for Reynolds to showcase his marvelous and goofy illustrations."

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