OLD MR. MACKLE HACKLE by Gunnar Madsen


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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Madsen drops several lines but grafts a new ending to the irrepressibly daffy title track from his 1999 recording. A popsicle pink hen that quacks and talks, but absolutely refuses to cackle, puts old Mr. Mackle Hackle’s shorts in such a twist that he first hauls her off to a fortune teller, then reads bad chicken jokes (“What do you call a crazy chicken?” “A cuckoo cluck!”) until she keels over in a faint. Ultimately, he gets more than he bargained for when the hen hatches a big clutch, and one chick clues him in: “Hey, old man, don’t blow your stackle—/ Every chick knows how to cackle!” Shepherd portrays the harried Mackle Hackle as a dapper gent with a long, looped handlebar, and leaves him dazed at the end, surrounded by chicks of various wild hues delivering a wild “cackle”-phony. This recast version doesn’t quite capture the rhythmic drive of the original lyrics, but it still makes a hand-clapping, knee-slapping read-aloud. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 6th, 2005
ISBN: 0-316-73452-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2005