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Teeny Tiny Tingly Tales


What happens when...

Old Doctor Wango Tango, along with his rosy, blowsy, noisy nose and crew of lightweight pets, travels to the tip of a very windy hill?

Two dancing legs; two waving, whirling arms; and one big head piece themselves together?

A little old lady buries the prickly, tickly, scary, hairy toe that she's found, only to be chased by the something that wants it ...

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What happens when...

Old Doctor Wango Tango, along with his rosy, blowsy, noisy nose and crew of lightweight pets, travels to the tip of a very windy hill?

Two dancing legs; two waving, whirling arms; and one big head piece themselves together?

A little old lady buries the prickly, tickly, scary, hairy toe that she's found, only to be chased by the something that wants it back?

Children will tingle with terror and shriek with glee over Nancy Van Laan and Victoria Chess's hilariously spooky — but not too spooky — read-aloud tales.

Three rhyming scary stories.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The three rhymed stories in this semi-scary collection vary in their effectiveness, but Chess's quirky illustrations will delight her many fans. Van Laan (When Winter Comes) fills the first two stories with clever wordplay and characters, but the plots fall a bit flat. In "Old Doctor Wango Tango," the author introduces the stingy doctor through diverting descriptionsAplus his petsAat length. Then, in a single page, they are inexplicably blown away by a "wahooing wind." In "It," various body parts come "bounding, "whooshing" and "thumping" down the stairs one at a time, then stick together. But when IT "stroll[s] to town," the wrap-up seems abrupt. The third story appropriates the plot of the old campground ghost story about the golden arm, featuring a hairy toe instead. When the creature screeches, "Give me back my hairy toe!" the old woman returns it and happily goes back to bed. With a touch of Edward Gorey and a scruffy cast of characters, Chess (A Hippopotamusn't) lends this eccentric cast a bit of charm. She portrays the doctor and his creature companions as a sort of misfit family; the various limbs of "IT" seem to belong together even before they join up. The title page of each internal story features an engaging child reading the book who grows increasingly frightened at each tale. More droll than frightening, these teeny tiny tingly tales happily will produce only the smallest of shivers. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This collection of silly, creepy tales offers a little something for everyone. The author presents three rollicking, rhyming tales—an eccentric old doctor takes his pets on a wild romp up a windy hill ("Old Doctor Wango Tango"), a bunch of body parts join together to create a funny fellow ("It"), and a little old lady has a wild adventure with a fuzzy appendage ("The Hairy Toe"). Not only will these stories make the tiny hairs on the back of young readers' necks stand up, but they will also tickle their funny bones. The illustrator's wonderfully expressive artwork perfectly captures the hilarity and spookiness of each clever tale. Perfect for reading aloud and for Halloween, don't miss this zany picture book. 2001, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $16.00. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer:Debra Briatico
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Two lesser-known tales, "Old Doctor Wango Tango" and "It," precede the more familiar "The Hairy Toe" in this delightfully wacky collection, perfect for new readers during the Halloween season, but sure to be enjoyed year-round. All of the stories are succinctly told in rhythmic, tongue-twisting language. Chess's acrylic, watercolor, pastel, colored-pencil, and pencil art extends the tales beautifully. Readers will be drawn in to the book by the cover, which depicts a girl hurrying past a cemetery with a book under her arm, as a pair of arms reaches up over a stone wall to grab her. Inside the covers, they meet the same child on each story's title page. Many of the full- and half-page color illustrations within the book are framed with a thin black line, but characters and items in the pictures spill out over the edges. The layout features plenty of white space, and fonts change to emphasize words. Fans of Joanna Cole's Bony-Legs (Four Winds, 1984) and Alvin Schwartz's In a Dark, Dark Room & Other Scary Stories (HarperCollins, 1984) will relish this title. But don't worry-fun and humor prevail over scares.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Van Laan (Tickle Tum!, p. 59, etc.) presents a collection of three not-too-scary rhyming tales populated by Chess's (The Beautiful Butterfly, 2000, etc.) wickedly loathsome, dark-eyed creatures. The first story is of the unsavory Old Doctor Wango, an unpleasant character who has starved his dog Towser, his cat Mouser, and his poor gaunt horse Sam by feeding them just pebbles and grass. He then takes a ride and all are blown away by a wahooing wind. A bit of a let-down. The second describes a gruesome being pulled together piece by piece: "Two legs inside a pair of pants / came bounding down the stairs. / They danced a jig and spun around / Then something else came wooshing down." Right, the arms inside a shirt, and so forth. And the final installment in this trilogy of horror is an old favorite of the up-past-midnight sleepover set: An old woman is picking peas (the bright green pea pods are as long as her arm) and finds a detached hairy toe on the ground. She buries it and that night the original owner haunts her to get it back. This version is kinder and gentler than usual, thanks to the rhyming and the lack of the traditional jump, but it's creepy enough for a younger scare. Children will enjoy Van Laan's storytelling cadence and the sheer fun of the language-and you can't beat Chess's ghoulish creatures with a hairy toe. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416975724
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 4/14/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,413,555
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Van Laan has written many books perfect for reading aloud, including So Say the Little Monkeys; Little Fish, Lost; With a Whoop and a Holler, an American Library Association Notable Book; and the 1990 Parents' Choice Award winner, Possum Come a-Knockin'. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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