BAWK & ROLL

The further adventures of Elvis Poultry, rooster rock star (Chicken Dance, 2009).

Marge and Lola, Elvis Poultry’s backup Chicken Dancers, wave goodbye to their barnyard buddies from a window of their tour bus. McDoodle's Barnyard is the first stop on their glamorous multi-farm tour. But the crowd is so big and unfamiliar that the hens faint from nerves. They resolve to do better at their next performance venue, but… Elvis parachutes to the stage, making a spectacular soft landing, followed by the thud of Lola and Marge. What to do? They try painting, hypnosis, meditation... but nothing seems to work. Then it hits them: In order to solve their problem, they actually cross the road (to a mailbox)! At the next tour stop, Dale's Dairy Farm, the crowd looks disgruntled. "We're going to get mooed off the stage," Marge predicts. But their entrance is greeted with cheers; all their friends from back on the farm have come out to support them. Elvis is so inspired that he comes up with a brand new song on the spot. His recording of "Blue Moo" shoots to the top of the charts. Can you say superstars? Sauer dispenses her many puns with an appealingly deft touch, offering a genuine lesson on friendship. Santat's illustrations are similarly droll, featuring several clever and surprising page designs, making the most of the opportunity offered by the contrast between stage and audience.

This flock rocks. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-7837-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more