Picture Book Nook: Tarantula Boo! by Lucy Davey

Lenny the Tarantula lives at Zurlington Zoo.  He’s “furry and fuzzy and hairy” and he likes to play tricks on people, especially his favourite trick, Tarantula Boo, where he jumps at people.  The only thing that’s missing is a friend to share his scares with, and when a flying coconut breaks the glass on his cage, he escapes to go and find a friend.  Lenny looks all over the zoo, but will he find someone who isn’t scared of him or tries to eat him?

Tarantula Boo! is a book that begs to be read aloud again and again.  I love Lucy Davey’s books because of the beautiful, descriptive language she uses (I think she’s the next Lynley Dodd) and this is what makes Tarantula Boo! such a great book.  It’s so easy to read because the words just roll off your tongue.  The first couple of pages will have children hooked as they are introduced to Lenny:

“Safe behind glass at Zurlington Zoo,
lived loveable larrikin Lenny Lassoo.
Lenny was furry and fuzzy and hairy,
and liked to play tricks that were frightfully scary.

He’d wiggle his toes, and ogle his eyes,
and stretch out his limbs to dinner-plate size.”

Children will love Lenny and they’ll laugh as he jumps out at people and animals.  Philip Webb’s illustrations perfectly match Lucy’s descriptions and make Lenny funny, rather than scary.  Tarantula Boo! is a book that parents and teachers will enjoy as much as the children and won’t mind reading again and again.

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