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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

4 young readers bk 2

Maybelle in the Soup written by Katie Speck and illustrated by Paul Ratz de Tagyos (Henry Holt & Company, 2007) is next on the degree of difficulty level. Having raised 4 boys, I am very partial to the YUCK and GROSS factors of our student body. Author Katie Speck interweaves subtle humor in such a simple way that our students can relate to Maybelle while I can appreciate the subtleties. 

Maybelle is a lovely, plump cockroach. Her best friend Henry is a flea. I love little Maybelle the sensible cockroach who obeys the three RULES: 

  • When it’s light, stay out of sight. 
  • If you’re spied, better hide. 
  • Never meet with human feet.

    How can you blame Maybelle forgetting in trouble when all she wanted was to "taste food before it hit the floor"?

The author nails it with this sentence near the beginning "Because a cockroach may not get exactly what a cockroach wants, but you can’t blame her for trying."

I think I’ll partner this title with my nonfiction highly magnified view of cockroaches and my beloved school poems about the cockroaches at school. (See Kalli Dakos and her book The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee) Since I have taught in Taiwan and in Tennessee with my share of roach friends, I can appreciate the nastiness of these friends who break the three rules.