Wiggle

Doreen Cronin, Author, Scott Menchin, Illustrator , illus. by Scott Menchin. S&S/Atheneum $12.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-86375-2

Youngsters can't be expected to sit still while listening to this energetic read-aloud featuring an animated doggie who wiggles in a variety of situations—some comically outlandish. At times zigzagging across the pages, Cronin's (Click, Clack, Moo ) bouncy, rhymed text repeats the title word frequently—and with gusto—from the opening spread, which asks, "Do you wake up with a wiggle? Do you wiggle out of bed?" as the contented canine gives his tail a vociferous wag. A flip of the page reveals the pooch in a chef's hat flipping a pancake ("If you wiggle with your breakfast, it might wind up on your head"), and the pancake, in kid-pleasing fashion, does just that. Subsequent silly scenarios show the amiable pup wiggling with his shadow and underwater, where he cavorts with fish. Menchin (The Day the Whale Came ) amusingly depicts the hound hero's shenanigans in vividly hued digitally rendered cartoon art. At times the solid colors leak outside his bold black lines, creating a wiggly effect. And the compositions incorporate some fun photographic images: a rubber ducky, and a knitted hat and body suit, which the pooch wears while wiggling with polar bears. The tale's tail end announces "I think we're out of wiggles now. See you wiggle soon!" Enthusiastic youngsters may take that as an enticing invitation to start the book all over again. Ages 1-4. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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