Scritch Scratch

Scritch Scratch

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by Miriam Moss, Delphine Durand
     
 

A hilarious and informative picture book about head lice.

Miriam Moss and Delphine Durand tackle the uncomfortable issue of head lice in this straightforward and very silly picture book. Miss Calypso and her class become the unsuspecting hosts of a family of those pesky parasites, but fortunately, the principal knows how to handle them. In a surprise, romantic

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Overview

A hilarious and informative picture book about head lice.

Miriam Moss and Delphine Durand tackle the uncomfortable issue of head lice in this straightforward and very silly picture book. Miss Calypso and her class become the unsuspecting hosts of a family of those pesky parasites, but fortunately, the principal knows how to handle them. In a surprise, romantic ending, the head lice end up being one of the best things to ever happen to Miss Calypso.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Taking a humorous approach to an embarrassing problem, this book turns the (literally) nitty-gritty into something witty. When a tiny head louse sneaks into the classroom, it makes straight for Ms. Calypso, the teacher, and her enormous red mane of "cascading curls." Soon the whole class is scritching and scratching. The principal, Mr. Trout, asks parents to apply special conditioner to the children's hair, but the little pests come right back. It turns out Ms. Calypso lives alone and has no one to help treat her tresses. Mr. Trout gallantly offers, and the two fall in love, for an almost happily-ever-after ending. Moss (previously teamed with Durand for The Snoops) includes plenty of solid information as well as loopier touches (as the louse lays eggs, it sings, "Watch the teacher scritch and scratch, When my creepy, crawly babies hatch"). Durand's cartoon humans have Mr. Potato Head features and toothy, ear-splitting grins. The classroom is realistically littered with bookbags, flying paper airplanes, toy cars, etc., and the children pester one another endlessly: "Ruby undid Polly's braid. Joshua painted on Peter's back. And Sammy trimmed Mark's bangs." Zippy graphics add lots of dash to an already funny text; the paths of lice are indicated with dotted lines and arrows, type fonts shift for emphasis, and passages of text appear under, over and around the spreads and vignettes. Moss and Durand win high marks for their potent combination of comedy and candor. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This book pokes good-humored fun at every parent's perpetual school-year dread-head lice. When a mama louse crawls into Ms. Calypso's classroom, she immediately makes a home in the teacher's cascading red locks. The eggs hatch and soon all of her students are infected. Mr. Trout, the principal, and the teacher send notes home, instructing parents to comb a special conditioner through their children's hair so that the lice will slide into the bath water and float away. This works for the children, but Ms. Calypso lives alone and has no one to help her comb the solution through her hair. The original louse stays there and soon the entire class is scritch-scratching again. The school sends home another note and Mr. Trout offers to help Ms. Calypso wash her hair. They fall in love, get married, and there's no more scratching in Mrs. Trout's classroom. Moss portrays head-lice infestations as a problem that can affect anyone: teachers and students, boys and girls. Durand's humorous cartoon illustrations depict a mother louse sporting a pink bow, gleefully singing and running with her beige eggs in two of her six hands. The diverse classroom is full of many different types of hair-braids, curls, and crew cuts. While the very idea may make some readers slightly squirmy, Scritch Scratch makes light of a "lousy" subject. This is wacky back-to-school fare.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Making a brave effort to pair hilarity with head lice, Moss and Durand (The Snoops, 1998) follow a tiny six-legger "no bigger than a freckle," as she (we know because she sports a pink bow) drops into a teacher's frizzy head and proceeds to sing a happy tune-"Oh . . . no one knows from where I came, / A nit, a nibbler with no name . . . "-as she deposits eggs on every hair. Soon the teacher is scratching; shortly thereafter, so is the entire class. Durand's cartoon illustrations are filled with small children and smaller insects (each with distinct personalities) going about their business with similar energy and good cheer. First the children are treated, but the plague isn't halted until children and teacher both are dosed with "special conditioner," and even then, sharp-eyed viewers may spot the tiny survivor peeking from a corner of the final spread. Parents may not find this all that amusing-but it is a painless way to bring up an unpleasant topic, and the accurate representation of how easily nits and lice spread will help children (and adults) understand the necessity of vigilance. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439368353
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD440L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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