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by Pam Conrad & illustrated by Eric Beddows

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-023603-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

From just out of the egg, Rooster is imbued with a sense of destiny. His fuzzy siblings make puny "peeps and cheeps," but he alone speaks in "glickles and gorks and flonks" that grow into a mighty pre-dawn "Cot Cot Cot Cot Ca-toodle tooooooo!" delivered from the coop roof. Day breaks, and Rooster exultantly takes credit. No one is more impressed than Rooster himself ("He felt lifted up, charged, holy") except for Smallest Hen, whose devotion he barely acknowledges. When Rooster slips in his timing and the sun comes up anyway, Smallest Hen saves his wounded pride by showing him how much better he can announce the sunrise than she can. It ends with the pair enjoying the sunrise together, Hen still clucking her approval (" 'Well done, Rooster,' bok-bokked Smallest Hen"). Although the overtones of gender entitlement are unfortunate, Conrad (Our House, 1995, etc.) provides a rousing comic tale and Beddows's brilliantly colored illustrations-- appearing nearly three-dimensional in the use of detail, sculpting, and shadow--heighten the barnyard drama. (Picture book. 4-8)