THE BOWLEGGED ROOSTER by Joyce Carol Thomas

THE BOWLEGGED ROOSTER

and Other Tales That Signify
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“When animals stand in the place of people and playfully speak their minds, this is what I call signifying,” writes Thomas (I Have Heard of a Land, 1998, etc.) in a foreword to this collection of fables set in a barnyard in Possum Neck, Mississippi. From celebrating the birth of a new chick to the death of an old Goose and the marriage of Crow, each vignette connects to the rituals, foibles, and truths of humankind. It’s Baby Rooster who teaches the others how to live together, his father who struts his prideful self, and his mama who takes care of her men folk. But whose voice is it booming from the heavens who tells Buzzard to be satisfied with his bald pate and to stop coveting Baby Rooster’s feathers? Onomatopoetic phrases appear throughout “steppity-step-stepping” the reader to death. More substantive free verse highlights a tale’s moral. These interruptions tend to bog down the reading, although they might make a read-aloud more fun for the listener. Berry’s black-and-white illustrations are charming, pointing up the human characteristics in these fowl. Cute, but not best of show. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-025377-0
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000




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