HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Terribly Wonderful
Author: Valiska Gregory
Illustrator: Jeni Bassett
Publisher: Four Winds Press. 1986
ISBN-13: 978-0027381108 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0027381102 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0027381207 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 002738120X (Paperback)
Related website: www.valiskagregory.com (author)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Gregory, Valiska. Terribly Wonderful (published in 1986 by Four Winds, a division of Macmillan). “Mr. Poggle and Scamp” is a series of canine tales for the preschool set about a father-figure named Mr. Poggle and his young friend Scamp. Poggle prefers to look at seemingly unpleasant circumstances in a positive light and convinces the fuzzy-eared Scamp to do likewise. In Terribly Wonderful, which we checked out of the library for our older son Mark to have some extra practice when he was learning to read, Scamp wakes up with a scratchy sore throat, which is “as red as dragon’s fire,” and loses his voice, so Mr. Poggle knows just what to do and prescribes a Terribly Wonderful day of sunshine, warm blankets, being tucked up in bed, books, and companionship to make him feel better.
The book has touches of humor in both the text and illustrations. The situations are realistic and the sense of friendship and caring is obvious. The watercolor line drawings convey this feeling of warmth. It is a book especially for children who know what it feels like to be tucked in bed when they get sick or need to know that a terrible day can turn terribly wonderful.. In another book of the series, Sunny Side Up, a would-be disastrous breakfast of broken eggs and almost-burned toast becomes a party with the birds. These books would be a good choice for a young readers’ collection in need of material on caring relationships and on finding humor in everyday problems. Publishers Weekly said of the series, “[Terribly Wonderful] is a Mr. Poggle and Scamp book and lucky is the reader who happens upon them.”