CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE SCRATCH MY BACK?
Written by Jory John
Illustrated by Liz Climo
(Dial BYR; $16.99, Ages 4-8)
Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? by Jory John is a great rainy day read aloud for energized kids swinging rain boots and in need of a good giggle while they’re more than likely required to sit, sit, sit in the classroom.
In this story we meet a delightfully frustrated and itchy Elephant desperate for a good back scratch. We all know how good that feels! Elephant groans every time a new friend tries to help. But the bumps, tickles, fangs and other animals’ offerings are far from what our poor pachyderm protagonist needs. When he’s reached his limit and sits down to sob over his situation, a friendly hedgehog comes by.
Hedgehog would love to help, and his body is the perfect level of pokey-ness for the task at hand. Elephant lifts Hedgehog by the trunk and uses him as a back scratcher, gaining immediate relief. So much relief, in fact, that he sighs in utter euphoria and absentmindedly flings Hedgehog away by the trunk.
And now poor Hedgehog is stuck—belly up—in the ground by the very pokey part of his body that previously helped the Elephant. Not only is he stuck, but his belly starts to itch. Won’t anyone help him out? In the bright of day, Sloth notices Hedgehog’s dilemma and offers to help.
Climo’s cartoon illustrations and bubbled read-aloud thoughts of each animal attempting to help the itchy Elephant are silly, fun and perfect for the intended audience. What a great LOL combination!
Read Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? to find out if Sloth can make it in time to deliver Hedgehog from his agony.
Read a review of Jory John’s Bad Seed.
- Reviewed by Ozma Bryant