Gotta Have It! Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Steve Breen
Woodpecker awoke to whiffs of a wonderful aroma wafting through the woods. He's instantly rumbly in his tumbly. Whatever it is, he WANTS it!
Following the delicious smell, he sees a brand-new sign along the road:
GRAND OPENING!MOE'S HOME OF THEHOT WAFFLE BREAKFAST
W-A-F-F-L-E? What in the world is a waffle?
Woodpecker peers through the window--and there it is! A waffle, topped with a pat of melting butter, with a hungry but happy diner drizzling it with syrup!
WOW! Woodpecker's got to have one!
WOODPECKER POLITELY PECKS ON THE FRONT DOOR. TAP, TAP, TAP!
BUT INSTEAD OF WAFFLES, HE GOT THE BOOT.
It seems that the entrance to Moe's Diner is guarded by a veteran waitress, one with the beehive hairdo and cat's-eye glasses that show that this is not her first rodeo. Apparently, her job description includes bouncer, with boot or broom, as needed.
Woodpecker tries subterfuge. He plasters himself picturesquely against the bird-printed frock of an entering patron and tries to sneak by the waitress's eye.
He disguises himself as the health inspector, a salsa singer in a fruity headdress, a baby with pacifier in his beak, even a milk carton.
FWAP! FWAP! FWAP! AND FWAP!
Woodpecker consults his fellow forest critters. They think he's a nuthatch!
"MOOSE DON'T EAT MUFFINS!" SAID MOOSE.
"RACCOONS DON'T EAT RAVIOLI!" SAID RACCOON.
The consensus is that critters don't eat fast food.
But Woodpecker is an iconoclast.
Benny the Woodpecker is determined to show the woodland naysayers how a winning woodpecker gets a waffle, inviting them back to Moe's Diner bright and early the next day for breakfast and a show! There'll be fireworks and cannons firing, stand-up comedy and song-and-dance in top hat, tuxedo, and cane, he promises.
All the animals show up at sunrise for the show, nearly surrounding the little diner. The customers are all a-goggle and a-giggle at the sight of the assembled bears and snakes and moose and skunks. And what a sight it is! The patrons wander outside with cameras for snapshots and cell phones to take selfies of themselves with the woodland critters. Even the watchful waitress follows the customers to witness the wildlife extravaganza, leaving the diner door wide open....
And then--it's untouched waffles galore for the taking, in author-illustrator Steve Breen's Woodpecker Wants a Waffle (Harper, 2016), a wonderfully whimsical comic revival of the cartoon character reminiscent of Walter Lantz' Woody the Woodpecker short subjects. Breen unapologetically makes good use of alliteration and snappy dialog to move the tale along, and his retro-styled illustrations of woodland characters are absolutely inspired in this modern trickster tale. Woodpecker wins waffle, and all's well that ends well, ... until, well, Woodpecker wants wontons?Weisswurst? Beef Wellington?
Says Kirkus Reviews, "Perfect subtle and slapstick humor."