Okay, I have to admit that when I realized this story was about a cockroach my toes curled. A cockroach? Are you kiddin’ me? Ugh. Memories of my college housing flooded my mind. But as a CYBILS judge, I had to read what was put before me. So I read on. And to my delight, I loved this story. It was totally hilarious.
Maybelle, the pink-bowed cockroach, lives at 19 Grand Street where everything is JUST SO. The Peabodys are absolutely positive there are no bugs at their house. This is because Maybelle always behaves herself and follows The Rules: When its light, stay out of sight; if you’re spied, better hide; and never meet with human feet. Life is fine and proper for Maybelle until Maurice, a rather large fly, comes into the house. In her attempts to get him out of the house, the bugs are discovered and chaos ensues. Ultimately, Maybelle learns that even if you do behave, life is full of surprises.
Katie Speck uses an unusual subject as a main character to give a unique perspective of what life could be like for those critters that hide from human eyes. The story is full of action and humor that will have kids turning the pages. With its pen drawings and thirteen chapters, this is a fun early chapter book (IMHO, a bit advanced to be classified as a traditional easy reader).
So, pour yourselves a spot of Earl Grey, pull out the scones and settle down for a fun read with your child and join Maybelle as she goes to tea.
Maybelle Goes to Tea by Katie Speck/ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-8093-3/2008/Henry Holt