Scritch-Scratch a Perfect Match

Scritch-Scratch a Perfect Match

by Kimberly Marcus, Mike Lester
     
 

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FLIT-FLIT flapped the flea in the scruffy dog's hair. "AAROOF!" howled the stray as he jumped in the air.

AWOOMPH was the sound as he dropped like a sack, landing THUD! "OH CRUD!" on an old man's back.

How can something so tiny cause so much havoc? When a flea jumps onto a stray dog, causing the dog to jump on a lonely man, the

Overview

FLIT-FLIT flapped the flea in the scruffy dog's hair. "AAROOF!" howled the stray as he jumped in the air.

AWOOMPH was the sound as he dropped like a sack, landing THUD! "OH CRUD!" on an old man's back.

How can something so tiny cause so much havoc? When a flea jumps onto a stray dog, causing the dog to jump on a lonely man, the race is on to find flea powder fast! A little itch on a big dog makes for HUGE chaos, but their adventure also leads to a lasting friendship. And when the flea finally jumps from the dog to a stray cat, who jumps onto a lonely lady, the cycle begins anew. Playful language and sound effects and zany, action-packed illustrations make for a surefire story-time hit.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review

"Illustrated with a great deal of humor. . . In this particular story, which ends mostly happily, the bug has the last bite."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Told in crisply scanning anapestic verse and heavily punctuated with onomatopoeic exclamations, this is a madcap friendship story that begs to be read aloud with panache. . . . Abundant motion lines, copious scrawled hatch and crosshatch details, and heaps of sly character humor (the flea has a winning grin, the dog is scruffily endearing) all work together to support the playful text."
From the Publisher
"[The] book explodes with sound on every page. . . . The galloping, emphatic pace makes the book fun to read aloud. Lester's cartoons have a frowzy, kinetic appeal that's particularly apt in a story featuring a scruffy dog." - School Library Journal

"Illustrated with a great deal of humor. . . In this particular story, which ends mostly happily, the bug has the last bite." - The New York Times Book Review

"Clever fun and lots of giggles." - Kirkus Reviews

"Told in crisply scanning anapestic verse and heavily punctuated with onomatopoeic exclamations, this is a madcap friendship story that begs to be read aloud with panache. . . . Abundant motion lines, copious scrawled hatch and crosshatch details, and heaps of sly character humor (the flea has a winning grin, the dog is scruffily endearing) all work together to support the playful text." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Jolly rhymed couplets filled with upper-case exclamations and sound effects tell the wild tale of what happens when a flea flaps into the hair of a scruffy dog. "AAROOF!" is the dog's howl as he jumps and lands on an old man's back. "SPLAT" they land in a mucky bog. They disentangle themselves and take shelter from the rain in a store, where the clerk orders them to leave. But the itch itches, so the dog runs on to find flea powder, which the man pulls off the shelf for him. Outside, after the powder is applied, the dog sighs happily "AAAH-ROO," as the flea sneezes, "KACHOO!" and moves on to a cat. The dog and the man are then pleased to realize they have found a friend. This slight story depends on the visuals for complete comic effect. With a #2 pencil, watercolor, and a Mac, Lester creates cartoon-y pencil drawings of exaggerated actions that move the tale at a rapid pace. The double-page depiction of the dog "scritch-scratching" in six ballet-like movements is particularly comic. Perhaps the adventure of the cat and the flea will be a sequel. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Marcus's first picture book explodes with sound on every page: "FLIT-FLIT flapped the flea in the scruffy dog's hair./'AAROOF!' howled the stray as he jumped in the air." The dog lands on a man; they both thwump down in a bog; they run for cover from a rainstorm to the general store, where they find just what this exceptionally intelligent canine was looking for. They also find, and adopt, one another. It's a light romp of a story whose sweet ending is lightened by a peek into the continuing adventures of the flea. While the rhymed verse is occasionally clunky, the galloping, emphatic pace makes the book fun to read aloud. Lester's watercolor and ink cartoons have a frowzy, kinetic appeal that's particularly apt in a story featuring a scruffy dog.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
It all starts with a flea. When it lands on a scruffy dog, it initiates a series of encounters that lead to mad adventures. The flea bite causes the dog to jump wildly and land on a man. They both go flying into a mud hole and get caught in a rainstorm.When they get the remedy to stop the itch, the flea jumps to a cat and the next round of mayhem ensues. Told almost entirely in a simple aabb rhyme scheme, the book adds interest and enthusiasm via onomatopoeia and mild expletives executed in large, bold upper-case letters. They "Squish-squash" in the mud, and the dog's tail goes "whump-whump" as the man cries "gadzooks" and "egads." Although rhyming "flea" with "immediately" is more than tortuous, most of the rhymes are of the one-syllable variety and are nicely accessible for young readers. Lester's computer-enhanced pencil-and-watercolor cartoons are highly exaggerated and filled with movement. Readers' eyes will be drawn to the immediate action, but there are also lots of details they might notice on a second perusal. A puzzled rabbit sits in the grass, a couple of birds laugh hysterically at the muddy twosome and a snail and frog also watch the antics. Clever fun and lots of giggles.(Picture book. 3-5)
Pamela Paul
…illustrated with a great deal of humor…[by] Mike Lester…Marcus's story, her debut, is written in playful rhyming couplets with a this-leads-to-that storyline recalling Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!, by Dr. Seuss (writing as Rosetta Stone) and Michael Frith.
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399250040
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/14/2011
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Kimberly Marcus is a teacher and teen counselor. She lives in Massachusetts.

Mike Lester is an illustrator and political cartoonist who often has cartoons in publications like Time magazine. He lives in Rome, Georgia.

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