CLAMS CAN'T SING by James Stevenson

CLAMS CAN'T SING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

You can count on even the least of Stevenson's picture stories for wit and wiggy humor tied to a sound, supportive base. This begins--to the deadpan announcement ""The morning was full of noises at the beach""--with a free-wheeling chorus from crabs, ducks, gulls, and other small creatures, each contributing its ZIZZA-ZIZZA, BZT-BZT-BZT, SKWAWK, SKEEK, or CHAKA-CHAKA-CHAKA. Soon we're into a frenzy of performing art, with drumming and clacking (KA KA DAK KIK KIK) and klonking, and bird Liza teaching crab Clinton to dance. Only clams Benny and Beatrice are silent--and only Benny and Beatrice are not invited to perform at the night's concert. ""Clams can't sing,"" lobster Foster explains. ""Clams can't do anything."" But Benny and Beatrice put their heads (or whatever) together, and as the concert ends they move in. They start with bubbles (OOSH!. . . OOSHA-FUSHA!. . . BA-LOOP!. . .""), then they get fancy, and though they can't take a bow as requested, they do dance (so they say) inside their shells, as the party goes on. Well, maybe you have to see it. In Stevenson's hands, it's a smacking putdown of the concept can't, and a zippy (that's ZIZZA-ZIP-ZOOEY) demonstration that having fun is the best defense.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1980
Publisher: Greenwillow