cover image Itchy Richard CL

Itchy Richard CL

Jamie Gilson. Clarion Books, $13.95 (52pp) ISBN 978-0-395-59282-3

Richard, a spunky second grader, desperately wants his mother to buy him a yo-yo that looks like an eyeball. Everyone else has one, he argues, but his mother turns down his request and sends him off to school. There the boy discovers that a classmate has something that Richard doesn't want: head lice. As the students work on an art project, they exchange imaginative rumors about these nasty little bugs. The more he hears, the more Richard fears that he too has lice. Dispelling the kids' exaggerated stories about the horrors of this condition, the teacher simply and reassuringly explains what lice are and how one contracts and gets rid of them. Gilson displays the same snappy dialogue and brisk humor that have made her Hobie Hanson novels so popular with youngsters. Short chapters and large print make this a good bet for reluctant readers. Ages 6-10. ( Oct. )