Nathaniel Willy, Scared Silly

Judith Mathews, Author, Judith Matthews, Author, Alexi Natchev, Illustrator
Judith Mathews, Author, Judith Matthews, Author, Alexi Natchev, Illustrator Bradbury Press $15 (0p) ISBN 978-0-02-765285-7
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-689-82955-0
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-18951-4
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-22904-3
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The squeaky door gets the grease, but not before full, noisy havoc is wreaked in Nathaniel Willy's bed. When the youngster mistakes the creaking door (``Eeeeeeek'') for a ghost, tired Gramma attempts to allay his fears by bringing in the cat (then the dog, then a pig, etc.) for bedtime company. But each time the old woman leaves, the squeaking door triggers a cacophonous chain reaction of ``scrowlls,'' ``warffs'' and ``snoinks.'' Despite its skillful use of onomatopoeia, Mathews's ( An Egg and Seven Socks ) and Robinson's ( A Frog Inside My Head ) wordy text jerks unexpectedly in and out of verse, making the book's seemingly obvious read-aloud charms frustratingly elusive. Far more inspired are Natchev's ( The Hobyahs , reviewed above) perky, folkloric watercolors: bright colors and skewed angles capture the merry mayhem of the mud-splattered menagerie crowded into Nathaniel's bed. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
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