Thursday 14 August 2014

Incy Wincy Spider

Incy Wincy Spider illustrated by Karen Erasmus (Lothian/Hachette)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN: 9780734415493
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie
This in-house picture book has extended the well-known action song and turned it into a lively story. Where else did the Incy Wincy Spider shelter other than the water spout?
Children often scream at spiders, but Karen Erasmus' large-eyed Incy Wincy is very cute and benign sitting in a splash of water on the cover, with legs like liquorice spaghetti. The red of Incy Wincy, the dark turquoise water shooting out of the black spout on a lime-green background is bright and eye-catching.
Young readers will enjoy looking for Incy Wincy in many familiar places: on a beach umbrella, the toilet seat, and a chair are a few examples, and will empathise with him as he survives lots of scary adventures. Grandpa sweeps Incy Wincy off the verandah, the cat threatens him, Aunty Joan nearly flushes him down the toilet, and he gets washed clean in Mum's washing machine, not forgetting a narrow escape when the dog jumps on the bed where he is lying. Perhaps almost being sucked up by the vacuum cleaner is his worst plight.

Although the new text is not as rhythmic or snappy as the original verse, it nevertheless provides a good storyline with plenty of interest and excitement. Incy Wincy demonstrates the determination of real life spiders which are found in so many places around and in the home. Karen Erasmus's illustrations are delightfully executed and it isn't hard to guess where Incy Wincy is found at the end of the tale.

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