Review also includes:
Melting Snowman, 978-0747597629
Injured Spider, 978-0747597650
I cannot find much to recommend in these titles from the ‘Urgency Emergency!’ series of ‘madcap first readers that make reading fun’. The stories are set at City Hospital, where Doctor Glenda (a dog) and Nurse Percy (a male hen, I think, but definitely not a cockerel) wait to treat their patients, some of whom have wandered in from other stories. So Miss Muffet brings in an injured Incy Wincy Spider for stitching after her untimely fall from the waterspout, while a wolf is found to be choking on a red-coated girl’s grandma.
These texts are, in my view, unsuitable for readers at the intended stage – adventurous word-choice for children at this level needs to be within a known ‘environment’ or the child has too few cues to help decode unfamiliar words, whereas here we have a mixture of simple and complex vocabulary in an unusual context which makes prediction difficult, frustrating and unlikely to be successful. In addition, they are illustrated in an unattractive, crudely comic-book style, and the story about the snowman kept from melting by eating cold things till snow begins to fall outside and it’s safe to go home is just plain silly, as well as unscientific.