More Information.
More details.Hide details.

Curriculum Materials Center

  • Print
  • 2006 Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award

    The Great Fuzz Frenzy written by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, illustrated by Janet Stevens, and published by Harcourt.

    Great Fuzz FrenzyThis story set in a prairie-dog town begins on the front endpapers and continues on the title page and copyright page when Violet, a pet dog, drops a green tennis ball into a prairie dog tunnel. A fold-out page shows the ball rolling down the tunnel with shocked prairie dogs looking on. When Pip Squeek pokes at the ball and puts a bit of green fuzz on her head, all of the prairie dogs except Big Bark get into the action: “They fuzzed their ears, their heads, their noses. They fuzzed their feet, their tails, their toeses.” When other prairie dogs pour down the tunnel to get a piece of fuzz the peaceful town turns into “A fuzz feud. A fuzz fiasco.” Bossy Big Bark gets his comeuppance when he steals all the fuzz and is swooped up into the air by an eagle.

    The mixed media illustrations in shades of brown along with the green luminescent tennis ball and fuzz humorously depict the plump prairie dogs “abuzz about fuzz.” Effective horizontal and vertical double-page spreads take readers deep into prairie dog burrows.

    This winning picture book received perfect scores from all its readers and listeners! The story appealed to first through fourth graders who loved the prairie dog characters and didn’t want the story to end. They liked the upbeat tone of the book, the rich and comical language, and the fold-out pages. They also liked the fuzz and looked for it on every page. Because of the back endpaper where Violet returns with an orange tennis ball, the students predicted that the story wasn’t over afterall.

    Teachers and librarians enjoyed reading the book aloud because of all the expressions that could be used. They also found the story useful for emphasizing the reading skills of predicting and drawing conclusions.

    Janet Stevens is from Boulder, CO where she and her dog, the real Violet, encounter many prairie dogs. Co-author Susan Stevens Crummel lives in Fort Worth, TX.