Sunday, January 22, 2006

Precious and the Boo Hag

McKissack, Patricia C. and Onawumi Jean Moss. 2005. PRECIOUS AND THE BOO HAG. Ill. by Kyrsten Brooker. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0689851944 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]

When Precious is left home alone due to a stomachache, she must heed one warning from her mother, “Now remember, don’t let nothing and nobody in this house-- not even me, ‘cause I got a key.” Then Brother pulls Precious aside and adds, “It might be Pruella the Boo Hag. Pruella is tricky, scary, and she tries to make you disobey yo’ mama.” Thus the adventure begins between Precious and the Boo Hag. Pruella tries to get into the house in a variety of ways. For example, she disguises herself as an old woman and as Precious’s friend Addie Louise. Will Pruella succeed in coaxing Precious to invite her into the house?

Temptation comes in various forms which allow Precious an opportunity to confront her fears. She faces her adversary with tenacity, courage, and in the eye of the storm sings a chant announcing her refusal to let the hag enter. “Pruella is a Boo Hag- she was right outside my window. She’s tricky and she’s scary, but I didn’t let her in!” The language is vivid, expressive, and will have readers reciting the words in the story. The oil and collage illustrations seem larger than life and bring to mind a playfulness that captures the audience. The animated language and energetic illustrations make this a flavorful read aloud especially for young readers.

Invite children to draw a picture about a time when they were scared.

Children can also complete a Venn diagram where they compare and contrast the story with another book about facing your fears.

Other fantasy books about facing your fears:
Donaldson, Julia. THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD. ISBN 0803730098
Munsch, Robert. THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS. ISBN 0920236162

By Aundrea L. Wright

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