From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 4-An enormous feeling of playfulness and love comes through in this story of an African-American mother and child. The story begins on the cover, where the Wild Waiyuuzee's eyes peek out of a bush. On the first page, she sprints from her hiding place, trying to escape Shemama the Catcher. Readers receive clues to the Wild Waiyuuzee's identity through Reed's wildly graphic illustrations, rendered in Photoshop. As the child runs into a mango grove, "Tippi Tappi Tappi Tappi," a door appears among the deep green stalks. Later on, the yellow flowers of a plant blend into those found on wallpaper, while large ferns obscure an electric socket. Just when she thinks she is safe in an iguana cave (a table covered with an iguana-print tablecloth), Shemama catches her and rubs "nut-nut oil" onto her head. One quick escape later, the girl finally lets Shemama near enough to "plait-a-plait and string-a-bead" in her hair. Finally revealed, Mama and her little one gaze at "their look so selves" in a mirror, and even the Wild Waiyuuzee has to admit, "Ah, ko! Beautiful." Williams-Garcia's rhythmic, poetic language partners with Reed's dynamic illustrations to convey the boundless energy found in every Wild Waiyuuzee.Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3-6. It's hard to catch the Wild Waiyuuzee. When Shemama the Catcher goes after it, calling "Wait, you'll see, my Wild Waiyuuzee," the creature runs away; and when she tries to spray the Waiyuuzee with water and rub its hair with Nut Nut Oil, it hides. Is this a tale of the jungle? It may seem so at first--until homey objects appear in the wild, brightly colored illustrations: a door, a bed, a table covered with a printed cloth. At this point children will begin to see that the story is actually about an African American girl's efforts to avoid getting her hair combed and braided by her mother. The lilting language ("With piney pig's tail, thumb, and fingers, Shemama made plait-a-plait and string-a-bead each one") will make the story fun to read aloud, and children will enjoy mimicking the zany humor of Shemama and her Wild Thing, who ends up plaited, braided, beautiful, and content. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved