Friday, May 09, 2008

review: Rachel Fister's Blister

Rachel Fister’s Blister by Amy MacDonald. Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. Houghton Mifflin, 1990; Sandpiper, 2008 (978-0-395-65744-7) $9.95 pb and CD

When Rachel Fister finds a blister on her toe, it sends her father into a panic that soon involves their whole town. Everyone thinks they have the sure cure for Rachel’s blister, but neither Doctor Proctors herbal remedy, Farmer Chalmer’s broccoli or even the combined prayers of a priest and rabbi can fix it. It’s up to smart Queen Alice to find the obvious answer--a kiss from Rachel’s mother. Fast and furious rhymes keep this delightfully absurd story moving swiftly, although readers may find themselves forced to stop for uncontrollable laughter. Whimsical, slapdash watercolors full of frenzied activity reinforce the lively motion of the story and the ridiculous sense of manic urgency that causes the hilarity to build to the comic anti-climax of the end.

The CD that comes with the book features an expressive reading, plus sound effects, set to a jolly tune, but the slow, measured pace--designed to be easy for beginning readers--isn't ideal for this particular story. Luckily, this is one book most adults won’t mind reading over and over. * (4-8)

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