Iris Has a Virus

Overview

Iris finds out that having a stomach virus is exhausting, especially when her brother, Doug, lets her know that she always gets sick at the wrong time. The sibling rivalry and misunderstanding of what germs are when they are called bugs unfold in this lighthearted story of Iris’s ordinary illness and her unfounded concerns.

Arlene Alda’s engaging prose, interspersed with rhyming couplets and complemented by the quirky, vibrant cut-paper collage illustrations of artist Lisa ...

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Overview

Iris finds out that having a stomach virus is exhausting, especially when her brother, Doug, lets her know that she always gets sick at the wrong time. The sibling rivalry and misunderstanding of what germs are when they are called bugs unfold in this lighthearted story of Iris’s ordinary illness and her unfounded concerns.

Arlene Alda’s engaging prose, interspersed with rhyming couplets and complemented by the quirky, vibrant cut-paper collage illustrations of artist Lisa Desimini, make this book a must-have for any child who has ever had more than a runny nose.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Did You Say Pears?:
“As entertaining as it is aesthetically pleasing.” — Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Book of ZZZs:

“. . . delightful . . . The Book of ZZZs gives us an intimate glimpse at these creatures . . . these photos will warm your heart, tickle your funny bone and, perhaps, urge you to nod off yourself.” –Today’s Parent
Children's Literature - Candice Ransom
At school, several of Iris's friends are out sick. Her teacher tells Iris a "nasty stomach virus" is going around. Naturally Iris catches it. Too sick to read or draw, Iris lies in bed. Her twin brother blames her illness on their not being able to go to their grandfather's party. The doctor declares Iris's bug is on its way out. Iris gets better, but on the way to their grandfather's, her brother starts throwing up. When it is his turn in bed, Iris suggests hiring a sitter so she and her parents can go to the party anyway. Children with siblings will appreciate the twist at the end. "Catching bugs" is a topic seldom approached and Alda's light story discusses germs and how they spread. However, rhyming couplets interrupt the straightforward narrative for no apparent reason: "Mom said to Iris, ‘Let's see Dr. Sally. We'll go in the car. It's not very far.' In the doctor's office, Mom and Iris waited their turn." Desimini's bold, colorful collage illustrations add humor, particularly the fantastic "bugs" in Iris's dream. That double-page spread has been printed on the reverse of the dust jacket as a bonus poster. Reviewer: Candice Ransom
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

When Iris feels tired and sick, she goes to the doctor and learns that she has "a nasty bug." In her fevered state, she has strange dreams about different kinds of colorful bugs that walk and talk. Her dad explains that her virus-causing bug is a germ that can be seen only through a microscope. On Saturday, she feels well enough to go to her grandfather's party, but wonders where her bug went. The answer becomes immediately clear when, on the way, her brother suddenly feels sick. Alda's amusing text is a combination of rhyming couplets interspersed with prose that is sometimes awkward when read aloud: "In bed-/She tried to read her storybook,/but fell asleep before a look/at even the first page." Desimini's cut-paper collage and digital art is full of emotion, and a spread showing Iris asleep is lighthearted while evoking the strange quality that dreams can take. In a simple way, this book explains what makes children sick.-Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Providing low-key reassurance for anyone who's had to stay in bed with a bug, Alda tracks young Iris's three-day malaise from that general feeling that things are not quite right, through limp exhaustion, nausea ("Her head was hot. / She threw up in a pot"), a soothing visit to the doctor, troubled dreams of "Bugs with spots, / Bugs on cots, / Bugs like ants, / Bugs with pants" and on to full recovery. Desimini focuses largely on faces in her cut-paper collages, depicting Iris and her twin Doug (who turns out to be next in line) with red hair and bright green eyes. The less-savory products of illness are mentioned but never actually seen, and there is plenty of parental care in evidence. Written in a somewhat mystifying mix of prose and verse, this is a pricey but refreshing cup of literary chicken soup for illin' children. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887768446
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Arlene Alda is an award-winning photographer and writer whose work has appeared in numerous galleries, as well as Life, Vogue, and People magazines. She is the author of thirteen children’s books, including Here a Face, There a Face, Did You Say Pears, The Book of ZZZs, and Morning Glory Monday, illustrated by Maryann Kovalski. Her photographs are featured in 97 Orchard Street, New York, written by Linda Granfield. A native New Yorker, Arlene Alda is the proud grandmother of eight. She lives on Long Island with her husband, actor Alan Alda.

Lisa Desimini is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Since then she has written and illustrated over thirty books for children. Her award-winning books include My House, which was deemed a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, I Am Running Away, a Bologna Book Fair honor book, and Love Letters, a Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of the Year, BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Lisa Desimini and her husband divide their time between NYC and Northport.

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