Tag Archives: Lucy Davey

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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Picture Book Nook: Out of Bed Fred by Lucy Davey and Harriet Bailey

Every day Mum has to give the boys a hurry-up.  She goes through the house calling,

“Out of bed, Fred!
In your clothes, Mose!
Brush your hair, Blair!
Wash your face, Mace!
Eat your food, Jude!
Clean your teeth, Keith!
Time to go, Joe!”

However, their little sister, Shirley is always up before them, “all dressed, brushed, washed, fed, cleaned and ready to go.”  She’s the sort of sister who always  does everything right and never gets in trouble.  But one day her brothers come up with a plan to change all that.  Will it work or will Shirley outsmart them?

Out of Bed Fred is a fun story that perfectly captures the day-to-day life of a big family.  Shirley really stands out, not just because she’s the only girl, but also because of her sense of humour and the way she stands up to her brothers.  The illustrator, Harriet Bailey has given the pictures a real Kiwi feel, with the brothers wearing shorts and rugby jerseys and photos of beach holidays on the wall.   If you look hard enough you’ll also be able to spot Weetbix and Marmite on toast.  Out of Bed Fred is perfect for brothers and sisters of all ages and is a great read-aloud.

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Filed under books, children, New Zealand, Picture Book Nook, picture books