Laura Krumwiede's Just Itzy
Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Book review by Kristin Peck
"Just Itzy," said Itzy. "And I will catch a fly today. You'll see."
While many have heard the tales of the Itzy Bitzy Spider, the stories have never been told quite like this.
The Itzy Bitzy Spider is very well known for his water spout expeditions and scaring poor little Miss Muffet on her tuffet.
However, what we have yet to find out is why that little Itzy Bitzy Spider was doing those things. After all, it is rather rude to be scaring people, and water spouts are not the best vacation spot.
According to this book, our Itzy Bitzy Spider was just trying to show everyone how grown he was now that he was no longer a "spiderling" and was starting his first day of "spindergarten."
This could definitely be labeled as a coming-of-age story as according to Itzy Bitzy, it was time to drop the baby nickname "Bitzy," and become known as simply "Itzy."
Well, in order to do that, Itzy had to complete the biggest school milestone by catching his own lunch - a yummy and nutritious fly - because his brother Gutzy told him that only "spiderlings bring lunch boxes."
Therefore, it was up to Itzy to learn to spin a web that would catch his lunch! Yet, try as he might, Itzy kept falling into circumstances that hindered his goals.
A scared little girl upset his web, he was accidentally ingested by a sleeping old lady before he was coughed back out, and then he got caught in a rain storm as he was climbing up a spout.
In the end, the story turns around for Itzy as his family and friends realize that he is more than just a bitzy spider.
Warm and sunny colors splash across the pages of Just Itzy to help illustrate the emotions that little Itzy Bitzy was going through. This unique look illustrates what so many children feel, oftentimes in frustration, in the specific stages of first finding out who they want to be.
Going to school is often a time of wanting to be "cool" and not seen as mommy or daddy's baby. This is a very relatable tale that is comical at times - the little old lady does not only swallow the spider, but also, a bird, a cat, a dog, a goat, a cow, and a horse! Oh my!
Just Itzy is a light read with a message of understanding and perseverance. It is a great addition to the home library!
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