THE FLEA'S SNEEZE by Lynn Downey


Age Range: 3 - 6
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A tiny little flea with a great big cold disrupts the slumber of the barnyard animals in this rollicking tale with a fitting end. Sprightly, rhyming verses recount the trials of the beleaguered insect as it struggles to go to sleep. A tickling cough, a few sniffles, a desperate request for a tissue all go unheeded by his barn mates, which include everything from a rooster to a frog. When the inevitable sneeze erupts, mayhem ensues as the other animals awaken with a start: "It scared the rat, / Who cried 'Boohoo!' / And woke the cat, / Who hissed 'Mairoo!' / It baffled the bat, / Whose eyes turned blue / And confused the cow, / Who muttered 'Moo Moo!' " Amid the confusion, the sympathetic mouse that "the flea used for a house" finally gives the long-suffering flea a tissue. Downey's bouncy verses merrily skip along to the uproarious conclusion, which ends on a comical note as everyone, including the flea, settles down again—with the exception of the hog . . . "I think I'b godda sdeeze." Newcomer Firehammer's full-page, full-color illustrations perfectly suit the silly story. Brightly colored, the pictures are intricately detailed and are funny throughout, even though there is no real action until the sneeze. From the myriad of silly sleeping positions of the various animals to the bleary-eyed expressions on the flea's face, there's plenty to pore and laugh over. And kids will clamor to hear it read again and again. (Picture book. 3-6)

ISBN: 0805077561
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt