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Catching The Wild Waiyuuzee Hardcover – October 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; First Ed 1st Printing edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068982601X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689826016
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,684,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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 Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Wald on February 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
This storybook is filled with joy and wonderful imagination. Replaying what could be a daily ritual for many families, it comes down to a mother chasing her daughter in order to bead her hair. Just like many children, the little girl doesn't relish the hair tugging and combing she knows is coming, so she runs!

The story is about discovering what type of creature the Wild Waiyuuzee is and it follows her in her attempts to hide from Shemama. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. My kids loved the birds and bugs. They loved the fun words and adventure in the hide-and-seek portrayed.

Warning: Children will want their hair beaded like the little girl's by the end of the book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Catching the Wild Waiyuuzee: Great picture book for kids


I have already read the book at the library, but the person that I try to purchase the book from was not able to get it to me.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jared Castle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
My two sons, ages 6 and 4, are drawn to books about bugs, sharks, snakes and bodily functions. So, imagine my surprise when my eldest reached for a book about a mother and daughter's relationship. It was Mike Reed's illustrations, specifically the jacket design, which caught their eyes. They assumed it was a bug book as the cover shows two eyes peeking out among a bush of green leaves and surrounded by a lady bug and assorted beetles.

We took the book home and gave it a bedtime read. My sons enjoyed the Wild Waiyuuzee's silly words and alliteration - "bang-o-bok" and "tippi tappi trump trump." The book is chock full of silliness and luscious bugs but, not surprisingly, the story didn't manage to hold my sons' interest for a second reading. Once the mystery was revealed (Wild Waiyuuzee is a young girl hiding from her mother, who wants to bead her daughter's hair), my sons weren't as excited to read it again. However, they've reopened the book several times to look at Mike Reed's colorful bugs.

My impression is author Rita Williams-Garcia was inspired by Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, a lyrical classic that appeals to both young boys and girls, such as Dr. Suess' The Lorax. Unfortunately, this book doesn't have that same magic.

In summary, this book might better capture a young girl's imagination and stand up to repeated readings. It didn't work for my sons. Again, Mike Reed's rich illustrations are wonderful. I plan to look up his other work, Elf Help and Shake Dem Halloween Bones.
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