Bootsie Barker Bites Paperback – May 19 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
"My mother and Bootsie Barker's mother are best friends," begins the diminutive narrator of this uproariously illustrated story. Bootsie stops short of actually biting, but she bares her teeth in a gleeful lethal grin as the daily mom-and-daughter visit begins. Wearing her broad-brimmed black hat and wickedly pointy hot-pink boots, Bootsie ignores all injunctions to "play nicely, girls!" She pretends to be a hungry dinosaur, tears up her timid host's book about turtles and knocks over an aquarium housing Charlene the salamander. Alas, the girls' parents are blind to Bootsie's malevolence and plan an overnight stay; the narrator, certain that she and Charlene will be "rushed to the hospital with dinosaur bites," confides her fears to her mother, whose calm response plants the germ of an idea. The next day the beleaguered heroine thinks fast and gives Bootsie a witty comeuppance. Bottner ( Let Me Tell You Everything ) smoothly adopts the understandably anxious child's point of view, while Rathmann ( Ruby the Copycat ) contributes formidable, hyper-bright watercolors that echo the story's nightmarish but hilarious exaggeration. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-- As in Bottner's Mean Maxine (Pantheon, 1980; o.p.) and Zoo Song (Scholastic, 1989), the theme of this book is about finding ways for very different people to resolve conflicts without bloodshed. A mismatched duo, Bootsie and the narrator are thrown together because of their mothers' friendship. Underneath Bootsie's bouncy blond hair, frilly dress, and ribboned straw hat lies the heart of a tyrant. The moment adults clear the room, the sweet smile turns into a sneer and the real child emerges. She becomes a vicious dinosaur intent on devouring her playmate. The narrator's mother gives neither comfort nor protection, so the little girl decides to beat the bully at her own game--with humorous, successful results. The story may be somewhat slight, but it will certainly be appreciated by all children forced to deal with Jekyll-and-Hyde playmates. The colorful cartoon and wash drawings, filled with amusing detail, perfectly express the terroristic tactics and the narrator's frustration. When Bootsie is on a rampage, even the stuffed animals cover their eyes. A book that treats a common and often troubling situation with an entertaining but effective touch. --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The narrator of Bootsie Barker Bites hates playing with Bootsie, but she has to, because Bootsie's mother is her mother's best friend. Bootsie is mean - she treats the narrator very badly, breaks her toys, tries to hurt her pet lizard, and claims she is a dinosaur who will eat the narrator right up. The narrator grits her teeth and bears it until she discovers Bootsie will be staying at her house for the night; then she thinks up a plan that turns the tables on her unpleasant playmate.
Most authors would have forced an unrealistic but ultrasweet ending from this plot by having Bootsie and the narrator become friends. Barbara Bottner knows that isn't how real life usually works, so she provides a different ending. Bootsie doesn't change; the narrator's ability to cope with Bootsie changes. In addition to being thoroughly satisfying, this ending gives kids a small, easy lesson on dealing with difficult people.
The illustrations in the book are energetic and fun. The artist has done an excellent job of making Bootsie look like the archetypal evil toddler. And the small details of the pictures - the toy turtle on every page, the changing expressions of the stuffed animals, etc. - help hold kids' attention and make the book fun to reread.
Overall, this is a solidly entertaining children's book that contains, but not does not force, a message. Bootsie Barker Bites is fun for reading out loud or privately; kids enjoy it, and so do adults.
Highly recommended to anyone and everyone who has preschoolers and older...
Most recent customer reviews
Book was in great condition, arrived very fast. Love it, thanks so much!Published 14 months ago by Alexa
My three-year-old daughter was horrified by the artwork and the scary Bootsie Barker. She is seen tearing a book, then terrorizing a little girl, then holding her hand over the... Read morePublished on March 5 2004 by cooks a little
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