Lobel is in direct touch with the preschool funnybone in this folklike tale of a robber who creeps at night into a barn, aiming to make off with the rooster. But the rooster throws him off guard by claiming deafness due to having quacked too much. . . no, barked. . . sorry, oinked. . . or was it mooed? With each new claim the robber scoffs and corrects the rooster ("It is dogs who are the barking ones," etc.) and at last, loud enough for the purportedly deaf rooster to hear, he demonstrates what roosters should say--thereby crowing up the sun, which causes him to flee for fear of being seen. Anita Lobel puts this low-comic robber/rooster encounter on a stage framed with elaborate, fantastic curtains, and she depicts each of the rooster's claimed, unroosterlike activities (i.e., swimming and quacking with the ducks) with rich, mock-serious fullness. It's not the look most would envision for the story's simple humor, but it makes a splendid show, and this wily rooster, in all his golden glory, is a natural performer.