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Author: Krumwiede, Lana
A spider on a quest to drop the "Bitzy" and become "just Itzy" runs up against some challenges.
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/14)
School Library Journal (01/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/15)
The Hornbook (00/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 K-Gr 2—Itzy is now old enough to attend spindergarten, but he wants to leave behind his nickname "Bitzy" before he enters the schoolhouse doors. The little spider is now 2mm taller than last year, and he has brand new shoes. Surely it's not even necessary to take his lunch; he's definitely big enough to catch it for himself. First of all, he needs to keep his "eye on the fly," never give up, and find the best place to spin a web. "The first step to spinning a web is to choose a good spot. Location, Location, Location!" Savvy readers will want to tap their prior knowledge of spiders from stories of Miss Muffet, the Old Lady who swallowed a fly, and a harrowing tale of a waterspout climb. This title includes them all, as images crafted with Photoshop, pastel paints, pencil, and ink feature Itzy's simply drawn, bespectacled cartoon figure in a series of adventures. Onomatopoeia accentuates the text in a narrative that emphasizes the youngster's own independence, perseverance, and pride in accomplishment. Itzy's fears and growing confidence are easily identifiable for young readers. A general purchase for all libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2015 Young spider Itzy Bitzy is looking forward to his first day of “spindergarten,” but he’s unsuccessful at spinning class, scaring a girl on a tuffet and getting temporarily consumed by an old lady. He ditches his third spinning attempt in order to climb up a waterspout in response to cries for help, finding his big brother, Gutzy, is afraid to climb back down the tall spout. Itzy shows him the way down the web-ladders he has spun, and the pair safely descends, where Itzy discovers another reason to be proud: his third web attempt has actually netted him two flies. Krumwiede spins a solid and entertaining backstory for the itsy bitsy protagonist, and the book cleverly and humorously incorporates various spider-themed nursery songs/rhymes (“Crikey crickets! The old lady swallowed the fly! Itzy didn’t know why she swallowed the fly”). Kids will be tickled by the rhyme/song connections and by some of the specifics of Itzy’s world. Greens, golds, and robin’s egg tones feature prominently in Pizzoli’s sunny illustrations (rendered with pencil, India ink, Plaka paint, and Photoshop), and slightly fuzzy edges give a casual, childlike look to the art. The endearing, bespectacled Itzy sports a red ball cap and wears black sneakers on two of his eight legs (the other six are used as arms), and he and the rest of the spider characters are more adorable than alarming. Pair this with Cronin’s Diary of a Spider (BCCB 10/05), share it as a light-hearted addition to a bug-themed unit, or use it as a springboard to a nursery rhyme-themed creative writing project. JH - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.