Big Words Small Stories: The Missing Donut
Written by Judith Henderson – Illustrated by T. L. McBeth
Kids Can Press
56 Pages, Ages 5-8
Here's a collection of short stories with a twist. The five stories all feature the misadventures of a boy named Cris, who likes things all in a row, and his cat, Crat, who likes to mix things up. Running within each of these lighthearted stories is another story, this one about the Sprinkle Fairy, owner of a word factory in Sicily, where the best words in the world come from. The Sprinkle Fairy has a team of helpers, called the Sprinklers, who have slipped one of her big words (like, discombobulated) into each of the small stories. Luckily, the Sprinklers provide warnings right before the big words appear ( Big word coming! ) and include their pronunciations and meanings afterward. Then, a bonus story at the end A Small Play on Big Words uses all the big words together.
Judith Henderson has created an innovative approach to an early reader that involves children in simple, fun-to-read stories, while using a clever, playful device to enrich their vocabularies at the same time. The quirky stories are funny, with storylines that build on each other. The appealing blend of deadpan and slapstick humor in the text is paired with multiple spot illustrations by T. L. McBeth on every page. The tone and accessibility are pitch-perfect for emerging readers. This title is part of a three-book series each book with its own character duo, but all starring the Sprinkle Fairy and her Sprinklers.
Kirkus Review - "The cartoon illustrations...are whimsical, expressive, and appealing."
Booklist Review - "A HUMDINGER for budding wordplay fans."
Included in SLJ’s 100 Scope Notes - 10 to Note: Fall Preview 2018