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THE WIM WOM FROM THE MUSTARD MILL

Author: Polly Peters

Illustrator: Roberta Angeletti

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Child's Play,

Material: paperback

Summary: When children don't listen to their parents, the Wim Wom steps in. Forget to put away your clothes? The Wim Wom will take them. Forget to pick up your toys? The Wim Wom will use them for a comfy nest. The Wim Wom will take full advantage of your neglect. But is a Wim Wom? Brother and sister are determined to uncover the Wim Wom, but each time they ask, Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa, each add something else to the description. Will they ever discover the truth? This picture book uses parental lore about mischievous creatures to help kids understand that seeing and believing don't always work together.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Reading Level: 3.1

Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter laughed as each of the adults help the children picture the Wim Wom. She enjoyed exploring the pages trying to find him, but was happiest of all when his favorite food is hers, too.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a fun story! I love how the children use different things to try to create the Wim Wom. Pencils, crayons, and paper are obvious, but the kids also try using blocks and gadgets; sticks and leaves; and even dough. The illustrations add to the story, as the Wim Wom's shadow appears and disappears on the pages as you read along. There is a great twist at the end that will grab parents who think the myth is debunked.

Pros: Kids and parents alike will enjoy this folktale with a twist.

Cons: None. Children who are very literal may find it difficult to see that the stories the parents and grandparents told the children were not "lies."

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a story you'll read several times, and the illustrations are perfect for kids who like exploring the details.

If You Liked This Book, Try: RABBIT COOKS UP A CUNNING PLAN   MAX AND THE DOGLINS   HOW THE MOON REGAINED HER SHAPE

Educational Themes: It will take several readings if you want to use this as a message book (i.e., clean up after yourself). The mystery pulls your child's attention away from those elements. When you finish reading, pull out the box of Tinkertoys or some clay, create your own creatures, and make up stories about how they live in your house. With older listeners, this is a nice example of folktales.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 1.6

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fables and folklore, animal characters, family

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2009

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