Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gettin' the Groove On: Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat, edited by Nikki Giovanni

Poetry has it roots in song and dance and the natural rhythms of hands and feet and voice, and editor Nikki Giovanni's Hip Hop Speaks to Children with CD: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (A Poetry Speaks Experience) captures these qualities in her new anthology of African American poetry, song, rap, and rhythm.

This work, featuring fifty-one contributors and illustrated by five artists, includes celebrated poets from the Harlem Renaissance to modern times--W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Grimes, Walter Dean Myers, Lucille Clifton, and of course Giovanni herself. But there are also creations by those not thought of as poets at all, hip hop and rap performers such as Tupac Shakur, Mos Def, and Queen Latifah. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is also included for its poetic use of language.

In addition to the printed words of these artists, this volume is particularly outstanding for its archival compact disc of the poets reading their own works, such as Hughes' "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and both King's original delivery and Giovanni's moving performance of the well-known portion of King's "I have a Dream."

A natural for Poetry Month and a New York Times bestseller also named a ALA Booklist's Top Ten Art Books, this volume belongs in every school and public library for its archival recordings of noted poets now gone and the toe-tapping inspirations of popular artists now writing and performing.

The companion book to Hip Hop Speaks to Children with CD: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (A Poetry Speaks Experience) with its own historic CD, is Poetry Speaks to Children (Book & CD) (Read & Hear).

Labels: ,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eggs-tra! Eggs-tra! Tillie Lays an Egg by Terry Golson

Tillie is a determinedly free-range chicken--and when it's time to lay her eggs, she refuses to be coop-ed up in the henhouse.

On Little Pond Farm there is standing room only for the only nesting box, so while Buffy, Ginger, Marge, Edwina, Prudence, and Twinkydink make use of the, um, facilities in the coop, Tillie decides to look for alternative seating.

Juicy worms beckon beyond the barnyard's corn trough, and Tillie just follows her beak to gustatory adventure.

"Yum!" she thinks, "there are plenty of tasty worms here!"

But a hen's gotta do what a hen's gotta do, and soon Tillie lays her daily egg on the run, right on the running board of the farm's trusty pickup truck, that is.

As the week goes by, Tillie ventures onto the farmhouse porch on Tuesday for her breakfast, leaving an egg by the broom and dustpan behind the door; on Wednesday she hops onto the kitchen table for a snack and leaves her egg in the sugar bowl; on Thursday she seeks a cozy nest in the laundry room and drops her egg softly on the ironing board; and on Friday she explores the bedroom, leaving a fresh egg by the rain boots on the floor.

"Hmmph!" This place has everything but worms," she grumbles.

Saturday, however, dawns dark and rainy and Tillie has to compromise her free-range roaming ways:

"Drat! I don't want to get my feathers wet! This nest is warm and dry and very comfy!"

"Finally!" cluck the other hens. "Tillie laid an egg!"

Youngsters who are familiar with Walter Wick's Can You See What I See? series will feel at home on the (free) range with Tillie, as author Terry Golson and ace photographer Ben Fink arrange charming vignettes of kitschy period decor among which Tillie deigns to deposit her daily egg. Answering the repeated "Where did Tillie lay her egg?" will keep preschoolers delightedly pointing out Tillie's eggstra-ordinary egg-laying spots as they page through Tillie Lays An Egg. Young children will find eggs-cellent fun among the author's own personable hens who are the stars of these appealing glimpses into egg hunting down on the farm.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reach! Little Chick: Three Stories by Amy Hest

Soon it would be night. High in the sky the first star popped up bright and beautiful

Little Chick stood on the step. "Reach for the sky," she sang.

She stretched and stretched, trying to catch her star.

"Good evening, Old-Auntie," Little Chick whispered. "I need to catch my star! I want to put it in my pocket!"

Little Chick's reach seems always beyond her grasp in Amy Hest's charming new picture book Little Chick (Candlewick, 2009). In the first of three vignettes starring Little Chick and her ever-patient Old-Auntie, "The Carrot That Would Not Grow," Little Chick diligently plants her carrot seed and waits patiently until the little feathery carrot top pushes up through the soil. But then her eagerness overcomes her patience. She pulls the little carrot up and is very disappointed to see how tiny the little orange root still is. But Old-Auntie consoles the impetuous little gardener with a snuggle, "Tall carrots are certainly nice," she whispers, "but sometimes small carrots are just what you need."

In the second tale, "The Kite That Would Not Fly," Little Chick skips her very best, trying to get her little leaf kite to sail up into the sky, only to watch it fall back to the grass over and over. Old-Auntie quickly senses her frustration. She bends down and kisses Little Chick and commiserates, "Sometimes a kite will fly, and sometimes it simply won't." But then she takes Little Chick by the wing and leads her up a big hill, where Little Chick's best skipping amazingly lifts the kite high above the windy summit.

But now the day is almost over, and even standing on top of patient Old-Auntie's head and stretching her best, the bright twinkly evening star remains far, far away.

"You're a very good stretcher," said Old-Auntie.

"Yes," agreed Little Chick. "I am a good stretcher." She stretched higher and higher still. She couldn't catch the star. Her pocket was empty. Little Chick was sad.

"I wanted my star," she said.

"It is such a lovely star," observed Old-Auntie. "I love how it sparkles. I'm afraid the sky just wouldn't be the same without your star."

"Yes," said Little Chick. "It would be dull."

Amy Hest's simple story catches the enthusiasm and sweet naivete' of the very young perfectly, and Anita Jeram's soft watercolor washed illustrations delightfully capture Little Chick's gangling energy and Old-Auntie's fulsome feathered wisdom set against a landscape of soft new spring flowers. For those who have loved her expressive artwork in Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You series, these three gentle and endearing stories of the relationship of a youngster and an older relative offer much of the same tenderness to cherish.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not Eggs-actly!: Duck and Goose by Tad Hills

In a feathered "finders-keepers, losers-weepers" squabble, a little duck and a little goose find a large, roundish, spotted object in the field. It's an egg, right? In their limited experience, it's an egg, and they immediately dispute ownership. Duck "saw it first," but goose "touched it first."

The quarrel threatens to turn a bit testy until the two begin to think about the baby growing inside their egg. Protectively, Duck and Goose scramble to sit atop the egg to keep it warm, and both manage to perch precariously back-to-back on top.

"Scoot over. I don't have any room," complained Duck.

"You are much closer to me than I am to you."

"Stop yelling in my ear, Goose!"

"Shhhh..." Goose hushed, pointing at the round thing beneath them.

Quietly, Duck and Goose continue their quarrel about ownership of the baby inside the egg. Duck insists that it must be taught to quack. Goose insists that honking is the way to go. But then the two pseudo-parents come to common ground.

"I am going to teach the baby bird to waddle," Goose added.

"So am I," Duck said.

Duck and Goose agree that both of them can teach the baby to swim and fly, and the two sit patiently atop their charge, through sun and moon, rain and shine, as they await the big event.

Then one day, they feel something that means the big moment is coming. What to do? Goose suggests remaining calm. Then they notice a small bluebird giving the egg an experimental kick. She excuses herself and suggests that they play together. "I just thought that maybe I could play with your ball. It really is a nice one," she says.

"Did she say ball?" Goose gulps and whispers to Duck. The two ponder the unthinkable for a moment and immediately begin to spin the situation.

"I did have my doubts," said Duck.

"Yes, and I must say, I was somewhat suspicious of those big dots," Goose admitted

With the resilience of their tender years, the two decide the ball is definitely a keeper, and immediately make the best of the outcome by kicking their new toy down the field, where "sometimes, it even flew."

Tad Hills' Duck and Goose, an ALA Notable Book, is sure to hit a nerve with children who have argued over possession rights and found a way to compromise and enjoy the fun. The bright, appealing illustrations and the absolutely simple silliness of the two little ones' rivalry over hatching a polka-dotted ball will have children giggling, "That's not an egg!" but laughing sympathetically all the way through.

For more Duck and Goose fun, see also Tad Hills' What's Up, Duck? and Duck & Goose, How Are You Feeling?

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Down the Tubes: On Top of the Potty And Other Get-Up-And-Go Songs by Alan Katz and David Catrow

"If You Gotta Go" (To the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It....")

If you gotta go do poopy,
please don't wait!
If ya gotta go do poopy,
potty's great!
Uncle Sidney and Aunt Dotty
always, always use the potty.
Although not at the same time.
They alternate!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Katz' and Catrow's On Top of the Potty: And Other Get-Up-and-Go Songs can make what is an anxiety-provoking period into--well, actually, a sorta fun sing-along. After all, if anything in parenting needs a bit of levity, it's potty practice time!

Author Alan Katz and illustrator David Catrow ventured into the "silly-dilly song" market with their 2007 hit, Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, and have now turned their considerable writing and illustrative skills to that mountaintop experience of toddlerhood, toilet training. Be forewarned: potty training is not for sissies, and this genuinely funny collection of plumbing-related poesy is not for the faint hearted (or queasy stomached) either. A few of Katz' rhymes are, shall we say, a bit indelicate, as befits his subject, but others have possibilities even for, er, public performances. Here, for example, (to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat") is a verse from his hymn to post-potty handwashing that all nursery school scholars should sing at bathroom break time:

Scrub, scrub, scrub your hands
each time that you pee.
That's a big kid thing to do
when you go potty

After all, as silly as singing toilet-time tunes may be, aesthetically it beats the alternative, and, as the potty poet puts it:

If you gotta go do pee-pee--
Potty chair!!
If you gotta go do pee-pee--
Potty's there!!
You'll get really good with practice,
and the happy, happy fact is
you can trade your diapers in for underwear!

Other silly-dilly collaborations from Katz and Catrow are I'm Still Here in the Bathtub: Brand New Silly Dilly Songs, Are You Quite Polite?: Silly Dilly Manners Songs, Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs, Where Did They Hide My Presents?: Silly Dilly Christmas Songs, Going, Going, Gone!: And Other Silly Dilly Sports Songs.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eggs-actly Right: I Need an Easter Egg by Harriet Ziefert

"Hummingbird, do you lay Easter eggs?" Little Rabbit asked. "I need one for my Grandma."

"No, Little Rabbit. I lay white hummingbird eggs."

It's an old story, often told in many ways. A youngster sets out to find the perfect Easter egg for someone he loves, learning along the way that Easter eggs just don't grow on trees--or in nests in trees either!

Little Rabbit visits many animals of the egg-laying persuasion--robin, sparrow, even a snake, whom he wisely decides to bypass in his search, but none of the eggs make the grade. Hummingbird's eggs are tiny; robin's are a pretty color, but only ONE color, and sparrow's are tiny and spotted--none of them what he has in mind.

"Then who LAYS Easter eggs," he asks.

"Not me!" says the dog.

"Not me!" says the goose.

"We lay lots and lots of eggs." says Mrs. Hen. "But we don't think they are Easter eggs. Our eggs are perfectly plain and perfectly white."


Little Rabbit suddenly realizes that if he can't FIND Easter eggs, he can MAKE them. With Mrs. Hen's beautiful blank eggs to work with, he picks up his paintbrush and transforms the plain Jane eggs into Easter masterpieces, just in time to take his basket of beautiful eggs to his grandmother's house.

"Happy Easter, Grandma!"

Harriet Ziefert's and Laura Rader's charming little board and flap book, I Need An Easter Egg (Holiday Lift-The-Flap), will please toddlers as they raise the flap to discover what sort of eggs each animal has to offer on each page. A great way to introduce the ritual of coloring eggs to the very young, this one is a classic of the Easter season.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You May Be Silly If....Silly Street by Jeff Foxworthy

Sometimes you're silly.
You know it's true.
When you're felling. that way,
There are things you can do.

You could stand on your head,
And wiggle your toes.
Or just walk around
With a spoon on our nose.

But if you're looking for more
And want something new,
Then I know a cool place,
That's just for you.

And that perfect place for the silly-disposed can be found in Jeff Foxworthy's new collection of silly poems, Silly Street (HarperCollins, 2009). Following up on his NYT best-seller, Dirt on My Shirt, Foxworthy has penned a new collection of kid-pleasing poetry with rhymes about a street populated with silly stores ("Pets-a-Palooza," "Hats and Halos," "Bubble Gum Tree," or perhaps "Phil's Fluffy and Light," where the business plan has a problem:

At Phil's Giant Pancakes,
Business is slow.
They've only sold one
As far as I know.

It was fluffy and light
And the taste! You can't beat it.
But it took 400 people
A whole year to eat it.

And then there's the proprietor whose product demo works just a bit too well:

There used to be a magic store,
Run by a man with a beard.
But he pulled out his wand,
And gave it a wave,
And Poof! the whole store disappeared

Foxworthy's rhymes are light and easy on the ear, a bit frothy as the title would suggest, and artist Steve Bjorkland's exuberant comic illustrations take the verses to the appropriate super-silly level. Silly Street is tailor-made for easing reluctant poetry readers into the genre when Poetry Month rolls around.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can't Keep a Genius Down! Phineas L. MacGuire Blasts Off! by Frances O'Roark Dowell

...I aimed my telescope out my window.... Venus, the evening star, was just coming out underneath an almost invisible moon. It was a very satisfying feeling to sit there with a sky filling up with stars in front of me and petri dishes full of developing bacteria beside me. My slime mold was up on the shelves over my desk, and my collection of the Mysteries of Planet Zindar books was under my bed.

Scientifically speaking, life does not get much better than that.

There's only one thing that can make fourth-grade science fan Phineas L. (Mac) MacGuire's life better--a week at Space Camp. Mom and step-dad Lyle are less than lukewarm and promise "maybe when you're older," but finally agree that if Mac can get a camp scholarship and earn the round-trip airfare to Alabama, they'll let him go.

But how does a nine-year-old come up with that kind of money in only five months? Mac's friend Aretha, the other smartest kid in his class, advises list making and positive thinking, and almost immediately a dog-walking job offers itself serendipitously as he steps off his bus:

At which time I was pulverized by a force larger than life.

This force is otherwise known as Lemon Drop, the world's biggest Labrador retriever, who belongs to my approximately eight-thousand-year-old neighbor Mrs. McClosky. Lemon
Drop knocked me down, slobbered all over my best Museum of Life and Science T-shirt, and practically strangled me with his leash as he planted wet goopy dog kisses all over my face.

Turns out Mrs. McClosky is in dire need of a daily dog walker, preferably one immune to the ick factor of dog slobber, and Mac is her man. With the $30 weekly stipend for walking him and throwing Lemon Drop's slobberball a couple of hundred times a day, Mac is more than halfway to his goal. The job comes with another unexpected perk, though--the opportunity to study the scientific properties of dog slobber--and in no time Mac, his videographer friend Ben, and Aretha, always alert for Girl Scout badge opportunities, are collecting slobber samples from Lemon Drop and every other dog they know, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, with an eye to the advancement of their future careers firmly in mind.

"We'll build a multimedia website," Aretha suddenly exclaimed, practically hopping up and down in her seat. "We'll upload digital footage of Lemon Drop, post charts and graphs, even run experiments on his saliva. It will be magnificent."

Mac MacGuire is undoubtedly the funniest and easiest-reading fictional science geek hero around, and the latest installment in the From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire series, Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Blasts Off! (From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. Macguire), (Atheneum, 2008) promises an engaging, laugh-out-loud story packed with humor, tantalizing science trivia and bona fide experiment instructions, and likable kid and grown-up characters which will appeal to middle readers, especially elementary guys who appreciate the delightful grossitude of Mac's chosen experiments. This book and its predecessors, Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment (From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. Macguire) and Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Gets Slimed! (From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. Macguire) are great for reluctant readers and killer-diller read-aloud material to prime a class of reluctant science students to begin their own projects.

Oh, by the way, Mac makes it to Huntsville, Alabama, for Science Camp, and as he puts it

My name is Phineas L. MacGuire.

But you can call me Mission Specialist MacGuire if you want to.

In fact, I'd kind of prefer it.

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Llama Drama: Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

Mama Llama goes away.
Llama Llama has to stay.

Strange new teacher
Strange new toys.

Lots of kids,
And lots of noise.

It's up bright and early, and time to hurry, hurry. It's time for Llama Llama to go to nursery school.

It is the first of many big goodbyes for little Llama, and when Mama puts on her coat and walks out that door, it is as if the world grows suddenly darker. The teacher tries to tempt him with blocks and crafts and a ride on the Chugga-Choo with his classmates, but Llama Llama only wants to hide behind a bookcase. Teacher tries to distract him with a snuggle and a story.

Read stories on the rug?
Kids are cuddling, sitting snug.

Would the Llama like to look?
Llama Llama hates that book!

Then comes lunch time, and as Llama Llama sits around the little table with the strange kids and looks down at his plate, he quietly loses it.

Llama misses Mama so...
Why did Mama Llama go?

It's too much for little Llama.
Little Llama misses Mama.

But Teacher is there in a flash with a hug and a word of hope:

Don't forget when day is through,
She will come right back for you!

And the other kids seem to understand and add an invitation that's hard to refuse:

LLama Llama, please don't fuss.
Have some fun and play with us!

Little Llama bravely puts on his coat and goes outside to climb inside the playhouse and try out the slide, and before he knows it, Mama Llama is back!

Lots to show and lots to say!
Back again another day....

Llama finds out something new--
He loves Mama--and school, too!

As in her earlier Llama sagas--Llama Llama Red Pajama (Viking, 2005) and Llama Llama Mad at Mama (Viking, 2007)--Anna Dewdney's just published Llama Llama Misses Mama is a treat for child and parent alike. Dewdney's empathy with Little Llama and his solicitous mama is shown in their faces, with Llama Llama's worried looks reflected even in the face of his little plush llama which goes everywhere with him. Not many author/illustrators portray the trials of toddlerhood with more understanding than Dewdney, and her easy rhymes and expressive illustrations make this new one a must-have, too.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blast from the Past: The Postcard by Tony Abbott

Staring down at the magazine on the nightstand, I realized that the eyes of one of the menacing dagger men were glowing. Glowing! I knew what some part of my brain had already guessed: that the light wasn't actually coming from the attacker's eyes.

But where it actually was coming from was odd enough.

It was coming--I knew because I followed the tiny beam back up with my fingers--it was coming from the postcard.

There was a hole in the card, a puncture so small and yet so perfectly round, it looked as if it had been put there on purpose with the tip of a needle.

My heart fluttered. The hole had been poked through the window of one of the upstairs rooms of the hotel, as if that room was important. As if something might be found there.

Jason had never known his grandmother, a mysterious figure about whom his father almost never spoke. But when Agnes dies suddenly in her cluttered stucco house in St. Petersburg, Jason's mother insists that he go down to make sure his father doesn't drink too much while he makes arrangements to settle his mother's affairs.

Florida is hot and flat and full of strange-looking old people to Jason's Boston-raised eyes, but in going through the musty contents of the storage boxes in his grandmother's house, Jason finds a pulp mystery magazine from 1942 and reads an intriguing story which seems to have been written about Agnes by her first love, Emerson Beale. Then, when he finds a blank postcard showing the same old hotel in which the mystery begins, he is drawn to follow the cryptic clues on the postcard which promise to lead to the rest of the mystery story.

When his depressed father is hospitalized after a serious fall repairing the roof of his mother's house, Jason is suddenly free to follow the mystery where it leads. And where it leads is a surrealistic chase through "old Florida" mansions, museums, and the Twin Palms Hotel itself as it awaits demolition, pursued by a cast of derelict circus performers who hold the clues to his grandmother's tragic family life and Jason's own father's mysterious, perhaps fictional father. Along the way Jason is befriended by an intelligent and adventurous neighbor girl, Dia, who takes on the quest as if it were her own.

At the end Jason and Dia unravel the family's twisted history and find his own grandfather, the author of the pulp mystery and the only witness who can explain Jason's father's conflicted feelings and make sense of the whole story. It's an intellectual puzzle, an adventure filled with tortured secrets, long-lost friends and enemies, and dark chases through historic sites. Fans of Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer and sequels will find Tony Abbott's The Postcard (Junior Library Guild Selection) equally challenging and tantalizing.

Tony Abbott is the author of the best-selling Secret of Droon series.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Could be Verse: Smelly Feet Sandwich and Other Silly Poems by Allia Zobel-Nolan

My TV is broken,
My book is half read.
I'm boreder than bored.
I'm out of my head.

"I think I can help you out, dear,"
Said my mother.
"You can rake up the leaves,
Take that snake from your brother.

Walk the cat. Feed the fish.
Match some socks if you please.
Change your sister, and then,
Spray the ferret for fleas.

You can vacuum the hall,
The tub needs some scrubbing.
The dog fought a skunk,
So he'll need quite a rubbing.

Mind the baby so she
Doesn't eat her balloon.
What's the matter?" said Mom.
"Are you leaving so soon?"

Allia Zobel-Nolan's new Smelly Feet Sandwich: And Other Silly Poems is a collection of, well, silly poems which offer an easy appetizer for the introduction of poetry to elementary-aged students. Poems like the above "I'm Not Bored Anymore!" or "The Wiggly Tooth" and "Yikes! It's Aunt Bea!" play with experiences common to the early elementary schooler in easy-to-read verse. Kate Leake's comic kid narrators fit right in with the rollicking rhymes that tickle the funnybone and go down easy for Poetry Month reading.

Labels: ,

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Panic of '09: Chicken Little by Rebecca and Ed Emberley


EEP! Chicken Little may not be the brightest chicken in the coop, but he knows a leading indicator when he sees one. And when that acorn bonks him on the head, he makes a prediction:

"Oh, my goodness, oh, my gracious," he exclaimed. "The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Run for your lives!" He grabbed his umbrella and ran out into the world without much of a plan.

On his way to wherever he is running, Chicken Little meets up with the usual suspects--Henny Penny, Lucky Ducky, Loosey Goosey, and Turkey Lurkey, who panic when a downturn in the acorn crop finds its mark on their noggins, too. ACK! ONK! OOP!

No time to explain! Run for your lives!

But the world is a perilous place for poultry without a plan, and as the barnyard fowl scramble to park their assets in a safe haven, they meet up with the man with a plan--Foxy Loxy, who offers a shelter for the panicked poultry:

"Step into this warm, dark cave where the sky cannot fall on you!" Fox offers, opening his toothy jaws wide, and the easily fooled fowl rush inside. Once within Foxy Loxy, however, even these bird brains begin to see the downside of the inside:

"Pheeeeew!" squawked the hen. "It stinks in here."

"And the floor is squishy and wet!" quacked the duck.

"UH OH!" gobbled the turkey. "Oh, no!" honked the goose.

But with their feathers ruffled and their down dislodged, the barnyard birds soon trigger a reaction within Foxy Loxy. "AAHHH! AAHHH! AAHHH!" he struggles, stifling a sneeze. Then, at last, comes the fortunate (for the fowl) rebound.


And with that super sneeze, out pop the poultry and at last they have a plan--RUN AWAY! And the last thing we see are the backsides of Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Lucky Ducky, Loosey Goosey, and Turkey Lurkey, flocking back to their well regulated barnyard.

It's hard not to see this traditional tale as a parable of the present panic, but in truth it is a masterful and faithful reworking of the familiar folktale, made gloriously silly and gloriously vivid in Rebecca and Ed Emberley's stunning new version, Chicken Little (Roaring Brook Press, 2009). Caldecott winner Ed Emberley (for the classic Drummer Hoff), in consort with his daughter Rebecca, creates some of his most winning illustrations ever--highly stylized and yet totally true to the essence of the foolish fowl in this story. Emberley has always had a unique way with color and shape, and in this retelling, his line, media, and use of color come together masterfully. This highly visual version of the familiar folktale struts its stuff across the pages with an authority which makes it, of all the fine reworkings of this story out there, the just-right rendition for these times.

Labels: ,