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A Freaky Friday for younger kids -- and with an extra twist
Late one night Nicholas sees a witch enter his bedroom and hears her say some magic words. Then the witch leaves without even saying goodbye. When he wakes up the next morning, it doesn't take him long to realize something very strange is going on - especially when he pulls at his whiskers and watches himself go off to school. Whiskers? How confusing! That nasty witch cast the old switcheroo spell on him, and Nicholas has swapped bodies with his cat, Leonardo. Needless to say, quite an unusual day is in store for both Nicholas-inside-Leonardo and Leonardo-inside-Nicholas, and Satoshi Kitamura catalogues their misadventures in fantastically funny pictures.
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Satoshi Kitamura is the creator of many popular books for children, including Comic Adventures of Boots and Sheep in Wolves' Clothing. He lives in London, England.
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Prior to the title page, an old lady with a broom and a pointy black hat is pictured crawling through a boy's window at night. The caption explains that she "brandished her broom at me and fired out some words. Then she left without saying goodbye-." The next day, Nicholas discovers that he has switched bodies with his cat Leonardo. What results is a humorous set of learning experiences about the life of a cat and, for poor Leonardo, the life of a boy. By the time the old woman returns the next night-"Sorry, love. I got the wrong address"-both victims, as well as the protagonist's frazzled mother, are anxious to return to normal. The twist on the last page is wickedly delightful, as are the expressive pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations. Facial expressions speak volumes, and the sense of kinetic movement and moments caught in a series of "snapshots" (on two consecutive spreads) will pull in the most diffident listeners. The high humor is infectious and the entire clever premise is well executed. Use this title with David Small's Imogene's Antlers (Crown, 1988) or William Joyce's George Shrinks (HarperCollins, 1985) for wonderful stories about strange transformations.
Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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