Thursday 3 August 2023

Mr McGee and the Biting Flea

Mr McGee and the Biting Flea by Pamela Allen (Penguin Random House) HB RRP $16.99 ISBN: 9781761340970

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

‘Mr McGee went out to play, down to the beach one windy day.’ Little does Mr McGee know that his kite-flying fun is about to be interrupted by an itty-bitty bitey flea! Layer after layer of clothing is peeled off as Mr McGee searches for the flea. Eventually, he leaps into the sea and the flea jumps free, landing on a nearby dog.

Pamela Allen’s classic tale is now in board-book form, perfect for little fingers to hold and turn the pages. Rollicking rhymes and recurring onomatopoeia will tickle the ears of three- to five-year-olds and ensure repeated requests for this spirited story.

Utilising pen and ink as well as watercolour, Pamela’s simple yet dynamic images capture every comical contortion of Mr McGee as he tries to find the pesky flea. Kids will giggle when the naked protagonist – covered in itchy red lumps – runs shrieking towards the sea.

Uproarious from the first page until the last, Mr McGee and the Biting Flea deserves a place on every preschooler’s bookshelf. The catchy rhymes exude joy and encourage youngsters to take their first tentative steps towards independent reading.

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