Just Itzy

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Lana Krumwiede
Illustrator: Greg Pizzoli
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9780763658113
Pages: 40

Itzy loves being a spider and the things he gets to do as a spider, but he hates his nickname. Everyone calls him Itzy Bitzy and he can’t stand it. He wants to convince everyone that he's not a spiderling anymore. His brother says that grown-up spiders catch their own lunches, so Itzy decides to leave the one his mom made him at home. He tries to build a web, but a girl scares the fly he’s chasing away. He sees another fly, but an old lady swallows it. When he goes to investigate, he gets swallowed, along with a lot of other things. He tries to go up the spout, but he gets washed out of it when it rains. He is about to give up, but when his brother needs help, he’s able to find a way to not be so Bitzy after all.

Fans of common stories and nursery rhymes will be amused at how one spider accidentally gets involved in familiar stories in his attempt to grow up. The spiders are drawn in a cute way so that they don’t look too much like spiders and even people who don’t like spiders can enjoy the book. Itzy teaches that if you “keep your eye on the fly” and don’t give up, it is possible to achieve a goal even if it seems impossible for a while. Itzy’s perspective of himself changes and he is able to realize that he can do hard things. Young readers who can identify with wanting to be more grown up than sometimes other people are willing to see them will enjoy this story and the nursery rhyme references in it.