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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 1999
Harry is a centipede who gets into a lot of trouble. George is a centipede who is best friends with Harry and lives with him. Blinda is Harry's mother and she takes care of George. One of Harry and George's adventures was going to the no-top-world. What will happen? Will they be eaten by other insects or will they survive? Read to find out!
I thought that this book was excellent for me, a third grader. I really understood it and it was the best book I have read in my entire life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 24, 2002
There's not much substance to this story of Harry (actually, Hxzltl, in Centipede), a many-legged creature who lives down-under (ground, that is), beyond the world of the HOO-MINS. Unless, of course, you are an eight to 10-year-old reader, who likes animals of every kind, especially buggy ones, and adores characters who like you rebel against their parents' every instruction.

In that case, Harry is made to order, and you'll enjoy him so much you will read this book two or three times at least.

Perfect for second, third or fourth grade readers who prefer chapter books with illustrations, this 153-page story of an insect mischief-maker will delight kids who like to read down-under (blankets, after lights-out).

--- Alyssa A. Lappen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2014
Spoiler alert: I am writing this review for parents who want to know whether they should recommend this book for a child, so there will be spoilers.

I have five children ages 22 to 11, I've been prereading children's books for 20 years, and I pride myself on knowing about most of what is out there. So I was dumbfounded when last week I stumbled across a book series by Lynne Reid Banks that I had never heard of before: Harry the Poisonous Centipede and its two sequels. (BTW: Lynne Reid Banks is best known for her Indian in the Cupboard series.)

As I began reading Harry the Poisonous Centipede I continued to be baffled: "This book is a sheer and utter delight!" I thought to myself, "so why have I never seen it on a recommended book list or featured in a school library?" Add to that the fact that it has only 6 Amazon reviews and you KNOW it is not a book teacher's are recommending (since writing a Kid's Review on Amazon is a common school writing assignment these days.) Harry the Poisonous Centipede was first published in 1997, and the sequels came out in 2001 and 2006: that's recent enough for it to not have been forgotten accidentally, so what gives?

First, I disagree with the review written by Wendy D. Caldiero in the School Library Journal (a review featured on the Amazon product page). She faults the book for being didactic (instructive) but children NEED didactic books and they welcome them as long as the educational content does not detract from the story. She also knocks the book for "uncomforably imposing" human characteristics on centipedes, but that's what anthropomorphic animal stories do (can you say Charlotte's Web? Amos and Boris? Bambi?) and there's nothing wrong with the way Lynne Reid Banks approaches anthropomorphism in this book. Finally, Caldiero says this is a "disappointingly dull book," a "simplistic fantasy which is a stretch even for the most accepting readers." The book is not dull and overall the story is not a "stretch" to accept . . . until you get to the final chapters. Maybe Caldiero's distaste for the way the book ends (which is also my distaste) colored her opinion of the entire story.

I'm pretty sure the reason this book is not recommended by teachers is because it self-destructs in the final chapters and ending. Harry and his friend George not only crawl out of their underground world into the house and bed of a HOO-MIN (human), but they crawl all over the HOO-MIN's body and even INTO HIS MOUTH. YUCK. OOOK. DISGUSTING. Maybe this grossed me out just because I am an 'uncool adult,' but my 13 year old read this part over my shoulder (and looked at the illustrations - yes there are illustrations of centipedes crawling all over a human body which add to the creepiness) and he had the same reaction, "GROSS!" Then the ending is very predictable and anti-climactic.

Here's why the crawling-on-a-human part of the book destroys the story: up until then you are on the side of the centipedes and you empathize with them as characters. You see the world from their perspective and share their point of view. Once they begin crawling on a human, however, it is impossible to share their point of view. The story becomes personal and all you can think about is how much you would not want two centipedes crawling up your body (from toes to MOUTH, of all things). This is the unrealistic and uncomfortable part of the story which (in my opinion) simply RUINS an otherwise good third or fourth grade read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2000
Meet Harry, he's young, charming, has many legs and he's poisonous. He lives with his mother, Belinda and best friend George, in tunnels under the ground. Like many young centipedes his age, he doesn't always listen to his mother and heed her warnings to stay away from the "no-top" world, where humans live and danger lurks around every corner. And because of this, we are treated to Harry and George's many adventures, as they leave their safe home underground, to go up above and experience the forbidden "no-top" world. Lynn Reid Banks has written a very creative and imaginative story, about the world, from a centipede's point of view. Her writing is witty and down to earth, full of funny dialogue and great, fast paced scenes. Your kids will be turning pages to the end, to find out what happens when Harry and George, finally come face to face with the dreaded human. The perfect book for youngsters aged 8-10, Harry the Poisonous Centipede is a winner.
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on March 14, 2014
Very funny, imaginative story, great for sharing together. Used as motivation in language lessons. Kids become totally absorbed by the quirky, funny story and love interpreting what Harry describes.
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on February 25, 2012
I loved this little paper back book. I read this book when i was younger and loved it so much, i was looking for it for a few years and finally found it here on amazon! It came in great condition as well :)
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on July 10, 2015
Best book ever!! My kids loved it. (Ages 3 and 7) it is very silly, and makes me think twice now before squashing a centipede.. :)
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 1999
This is a very good book. I recomend it to anyone that doesen't know how to speak centipedish. I think that all hoo-min kind should read it. (you'd know what I mean if you have read the book!)
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