A fine addition to the cock-a-doodle canon. (Picture book. 3-7)

COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO-BOP!

“Cock-a-doodle-doo” is so last century, man!

Mel the rooster is just not feeling “cock-a-doodle-doo.” He wakes the farmer (a concerned boy) with a “Scat-scat-doo-wop-bop-biddly-doo-wop-doowop-bop-bop-bop!” Even after the farmer tells him the sun won’t rise without a cock-a-doodle-doo, Mel’s ready for something new. He tries another scat after the cow expresses her concern…but the sun doesn’t rise. So Mel pulls out his trumpet for a cool jive blast. Nothin’. The rest of the barnyard is awake, and they are all concerned that morning might never come. Mel tries spinnin’ and scratchin’ beats with a turntable. Still no sun, but Mel will not go back to the traditional rooster crow. Finally, the horse has an idea that involves the cow and a “Cow-ca-doo-dle-moooooooo!” Hello sun! Black’s rockin’ rooster will have toddlers laughing and joining in on second reads if the book’s read just right. The whole tale is told only through dialogue, and each character’s words appear in a different color. There are no dialogue bubbles to indicate who’s speaking, so readers need to be nimble in switching places. Myers’ oils present a mix of double-page spreads and sequential panels (separated by fence posts rather than negative space) paced beautifully for maximum effect. A sly, wry, and funny tale that’s as much fun to perform as it is to hear.

A fine addition to the cock-a-doodle canon. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9510-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more