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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
The Little Miss Grubby Toes series, written by Eddie Price and illustrated by Mark Wayne Adams, depicts a series of escapades and scrapes that Little Miss Grubby Toes herself (so named because of her reluctance to wear shoes) gets into … and out of. These are cautionary tales for parents and children and, as the author points out, can be used to teach how to avoid potentially dangerous predicaments because, as any parent with young children knows, things can happen in the twinkling of an eye. This is a wonderful way for parents to explore various scenarios with young readers and discuss the pros and cons of Little Miss Grubby Toes’ often foolhardy mishaps. A good opportunity to further instill household rules and safety tips.
Little Miss Grubby Toes can’t help getting into situations that might just prove to be hazardous. She is usually a good little girl, but sometimes, when she doesn’t obey her parents, she gets into trouble. Little Miss Grubby Toes’ latest adventure - Little Miss Grubby Toes Plays With Fire! - starts when she attends Tommy Sim’s fifth birthday party and his mother lights the candles on the cake, using matches. Little Miss Grubby Toes is enchanted at the sight and asks if she can light a match, only to be told firmly by Tommy’s mother that matches are very dangerous, and she must wait until she is older. On the way home from the party, Little Miss Grubby Toes asks her mother about lighting a match, only to be told the same thing; fire is very dangerous. Little Miss Grubby Toes promises her mother that of course she would never play with matches. Even though her mother, just to be on the safe side, hides the matches away, that’s not going to stop Little Miss Grubby Toes now, is it?
I loved this book and a lot had to do with the absolutely fantastic illustrations! Mark Wayne Adams knows how to capture each scene so beautifully, from the fun of the birthday party, to the antics of the family cat and bird begging Little Miss Grubby Toes not to do it, to the utter devastation of the kitchen when the inevitable happens. These images alone tell the story to the youngster being read to or reading on their own, and there is so much detail as well for young readers to discover with each rereading of this cautionary tale. The themes are so naturally woven into the tale that youngsters will learn what to do and what not to do as they progress through the story. There is also a nice moment of saying sorry when you have done something wrong and caused a whole lot of inconvenience for others, and how to make it better. Another salutary lesson is keeping a promise made to your parents and listening to your parents, who are making rules to protect you.
This is the first book in Eddie Price’s series that I have read, and I am now a fan. I also liked the fact that interspersed in the text were various questions youngsters might need to answer, questions that are useful and will teach them something. Ending off the story, a quiz and word search enable both parents and teachers to raise discussion points in a fun way. This section also engages youngsters in the series and will make young readers who are new to the series eager to read more about this adorable sometimes-naughty little girl.