Viper cover Viper flap

Awards & Acclaim for "The Viper"

  • • Winner of the Michigan Great Lakes Great Books Award
  • • Winner of the Delaware Diamonds Award
  • • "Top 10 Mysteries for Youth" - Booklist
  • • A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year
  •    Kirkus – pointer review:

    "Delightfully funny ... Young readers will thrill to its mildly scary tone."

  •      School Library Journal – starred review:

    "Few readers are as good as this one ... This book is absolutely delightful."

ages: 4 and up

Illustrations from The Viper:

pages 8 and 9 chocolates

make-up remover pages 12 and 13

pages 22 and 23 Peggy worried

Tring! Tring! pages 28 and 29

from the Kirkus review of The Viper

       Writing a funny, original easy reader isn't easy, especially writing one that incorporates concepts of time, wrapped up in a spooky story (based on an old campfire tale). Using an old, old, old, joke as her base, Thiesing packs in all the time concepts covered in first-grade classrooms: the calendar, telling time, incremental lengths of time (from a year to minutes), and the old rhyme about "Thirty days has September." Peggy the pig receives regular mysterious phone calls over the course of a calendar year from a "husky, dusky voice" announcing that he is "zee Viper," and he "vill come" to her house in a month, then in a week, and so on, counting down to his arrival with increasingly delicious suspense. Peggy looks up the word "viper" in the dictionary (another classroom skill) and thus expects a scary snake to show up at a locked and barricaded door. In a delightfully funny groaner, zee Viper is window washer Willy the Wiemeraner, who announces to Peggy that he has "come to vipe your vindows!"
       Teachers will like this for the cleverly integrated educational concepts; librarians will use it for story hours; parents will love seeing the familiar joke in print; and young readers will thrill to its mildly scary tone and funny ending. Theising's cheerful, bright illustrations include lots of humorous details with a variety of formats that add to the story's momentum. (Easy reader. 5-8)

from the School Library Journal review of The Viper

   ...There will be children who don't quite catch the humor at first reading, but once the joke is realized they will clamor to read it again to unsuspecting friends and adults.
       Few beginning readers are as good as this one to promote reading with expression. Librarians will appreciate a plug for dictionaries as Peggy looks up the word "viper." This book is absolutely delightful.
       -Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX
       Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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