Friday, March 11, 2016

Two Can-Can, Too! Cockatoo, Too! by Bethanie Deeney Murguia




What looks like an elegant tropical glade is really a word-play playground as a lonely cockatoo, and one more, too, become two. Yes, and a cockatoo can wear a tutu, and two can wear tutus, and two more in tutus can join the two cockatoos in tutus in a can-can.

Sure they can!

But what about a toucan? Can a toucan can-can, too?

Can a toucan in a tutu can-can? Yes, he can. But then, too, what about two more toucans in tutus? Can those two toucans can-can, too? Can they can-can two-by-two? WHOooo? asks a justly befuddled owl from the treetop.

And can two + two tutued cockatoos can-can like two + two tutued toucans can can-can? Can they all can-can to-gether?

Or can a little canary get the last word?


Bethanie Deeney Murguia's Cockatoo, Too! (Little Bee Books, 2016) can do it all, with wonderful words that play with tongue-twisting homophone puns and irreverent rhymes amid illustrious illustrations that set it all off perfectly. Beginning with the front endpapers, delightful fronds of jungle greenery which resolve, optical illusion-style, into toucans, cockatoos, and perhaps even a canary or two, the artist proceeds with double-page spreads which reveal the stars of the show appearing slyly from the foliage to dance from page to page to the tune of a text that delights the eye, the ear, and the mind.

Murguia leaves only one question unasked: Can two cocks cock-a-doodle-and can-can in tutus, too?

Or, as Dr. Seuss* has his little straight man conclude...,

*Stop it. Stop it.That's enough, sir.
I can't say such silly stuff, sir.

                       --Fox in Socks

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