Teeny Tiny Tingly Tales

Teeny Tiny Tingly Tales by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Victoria Chess.
An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010.

As I searched the library website for books for yesterday's post, I stumbled upon this one. It is illustrated by Victoria Chess, who illustrated the Alvin Schwartz books Little Sis read last year.

Teeny Tiny Tingly Tales is not a scary book. It is far more silly than spooky. Perhaps it would serve as an introduction to semi-creepy things for very young children.

Each rhyming tale opens with its own title page, depicting a child reading in chair. The first story is the weirdest.

Old Doctor Wango Tango has a nasty long red nose. He doesn't take care of himself, nor does he feed his pets. One day, while riding his sorry horse up a hill with the rest of his menagerie, a loud chilly wind blows them all away. The end. Really.

The story of "Old Doctor Wango Tango" isn't all that scary, but that nose! Flashback to the Thingumajigs! I was curious as to the origins of the story. Apparently, it's based on a folk song. Burl Ives recorded it in the 1950s, but I don't know any of its history beyond that.

The second story seems more familiar, although I can't place it.

"It" is pretty simple. Different body parts rolls down the stairs. The legs are dancing, the head is bouncing. Once all the parts hit the landing, they fuse together to make "It." "It" heads to town. The end.

Now the last story is the most familiar one, although changes have been made.

"The Hairy Toe" is a variation of "Teeny-Tiny." A little old lady, working in her garden, spies a hairy toe. She buries it in the dirt. (Thank goodness she doesn't save it for soup!) She goes inside her house. A voice blows on the wind: "Give me back my hairy toe!" She jumps into bed and pulls the covers over her head. She hears the voice again, as well as the sound of something creeping across her floor. Frightened, she jumps out of bed, runs to the garden, digs up the toe, and throws it in the direction of the voice.

The creature isn't the scariest of beasts.Kind of on par with the Gruffalo, or the not-so-scary gremlin from the original Twilight Zone episode "Terror at 20000 Feet.


[I love that episode, but the gremlin makes me giggle. Maybe because I
grew up watching Twilight Zone: The Movie as a kid.]

Well, that was a tangent. I think the girls and I need to watch some more Twilight Zone this month...

Merry Weekend! Happy Reading!

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  1. FOOL FLIPPETY FLAM! that's going to be my new catchphrase! love it. what a darling book, LOVE the art! so cute! Love silly, mildly absurd creepy tales - wish I would have had this when Julia was tinier! HAPPY october to you, sweet D.

    1. It's cute and way too silly to be scary. Happy October to you, too! We're heading up to Hesston for the barn sale today. It's only going to 67 degrees today, so I'm thrilled. :)

  2. What a weird and funny book (I mean it in a good way!). I love the art. It looks fun!


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