Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CATCHING THE WILD WAIYUUZEE by Rita Williams-Garcia Kirkus Star

CATCHING THE WILD WAIYUUZEE

By Rita Williams-Garcia (Author) , Mike Reed (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82601-X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A very gratifying first picture book from Williams-Garcia, one that plays with the willowiness of language while following the shenanigans of a young African-American girl trying to escape the bite of a comb wielded by her mother. As the mother approaches with the comb, the girl transforms into a “Wild Waiyuuzee” and takes flight. Actually, you can’t see her at all, just the suggestion of her presence hiding here and there. “Trumpi. Trumpi. Shemama coming foot and foot after the Wild Waiyuuzee.” But all that Wild Waiyuuzee wants to do is wiggle and giggle and run. Williams-Garcia adds lots of good sound effects, splashed across the pages in electric color by Reed: “Bang-O-Bok!” “Ah, Ko!” “Splee-Zash!” Her mother tracks after her, speaking of nut oil and plaits and beads. Finally Shemama corrals the girl. “No owie owie me?” “No owie owie.” “Moka true?” “Moka true.” Out of the fantasy wilds—a jungle of tall grasses, iguana caves, and the deep bush as dandied up by Reed in lush color and oversized detail—emerges the girl, back into her room, to gentling hands and painless braids. Lovely, all around. (Picture book. 3-6)