Call Me! Telephone by Mac Barnett
"TELL PETER: FLY HOME FOR DINNER!"
Mama Bird is ready to put her home-cooked dinner, a delicious-looking worm pot pie, on the table. All she needs is to get Peter in to wash up and dinner will be served.
The Cardinal she chooses to be the message bearer has his baseball bat over his shoulder and obviously has his head in the game. He relays the message, just a bit scrambled, to a passing goggles-wearing goose.
"TELL PETER: HIT POP FLIES AND HOMERS."
Goose gives the message an aviatorial interpretation.
"TELL PETER: PROP PLANES ARE FOR FLIERS."
Unfortunately, the recipient of the communication is struggling with a late load of laundry to hang on the line, and she's clearly riding another plane of thought. She passes the word on with a wet-wash twist.
"TELL PETER: PUT YOUR WET SOCKS IN THE DRYER."
Will Peter get home before the worm pot pie is a leftover? Will he fly home before the owls come out and think that Peter is supposed to be THEIR dinner?
In Mac Barnett's newest, Telephone (Chronicle Books, 2014), it seems that just because a bunch of birds are sitting on the telephone lines, they are not necessarily the best of communicators. A master of the comic twist picture book, Barnett takes the trope of the traditional game of "Telephone" or "Gossip" and gives it his own quirky spin, giving kids a chance to predict how the message with change from the nature of the birds who relay the message. As usual with this game, the final message is a hilarious mishmash, ably illustrated by artist Jen Corace's comic communicators.
Other kid-pleasing books by Mac Barnett include Extra Yarn, Chloe and the Lion, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World.