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Precious and the Boo Hag

by Patricia C.  McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss
Illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker

Published by An Anne Swartz Book / Atheneum, 2005
32 pages
ISBN: 0-689-85194-4

Ages 5-8

Like any good sibling, Precious’s brother is only too happy to clue her in to the dangers of Pruella the Boo Hag, a tricky and scary creature who’ll “do most anything to get inside” the house. Then he and Mama head off to the fields, while Precious, recovering from a nighttime stomachache, stays home alone. Sure enough, Pruella soon shows up in a variety of tricky forms: as a stranger needing a drink, as Pruella’s best friend Addie Louise, and, even as a sparkling new penny. Each time Precious sees through Pruella’s disguise by using her wits and remembering Mama’s orders to not let anyone inside the house. Even the tempting penny doesn’t make it through the door, after clever Precious notices that George Washington is on the front, not Abraham Lincoln. Engaging dialogue and just enough of a spine-tingling edge (including a deliciously scary finale) make Precious’s story a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Kyrsten Brooker’s collage and oil paint illustrations imaginatively capture the Boo Hag in all her incarnations. Honor Book, 2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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