Mary Wormell, Author, Fintan O'Toole, Author, Fintan O'Toole, Illustrator BERNARD THE ANGRY ROOSTER Mar $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-30670-0

In a series of her signature sturdy woodcuts, Wormell (Why Not?) once again returns to the barnyard for this tale of a normally cheerful rooster who is having a very bad day. No one knows why Bernard is so out of sorts, but he's certainly making a nuisance of himself—chasing Lucy, the farmer's daughter, hassling the cat and pecking at the dog's tail. Finally, with a little unexpected help from Callum the pony, Bernard climbs to the top of a tree and announces, "Cock-a-doodle-do, now I'm higher than you"—revealing both the source and cure of his irritability. Attentive readers will find Wormell's carefully planted clues along the way (Bernard is jealous of the new rooster-shaped weathervane on top of the farmhouse). A model of graceful artistry, the volume reflects the economy with which Wormell chooses both her words and her carefully edited vistas, which keep the tale tightly focused. She softens the bold black lines of her chunky woodcuts with subtle coloring, allowing Bernard, his fine black plumage set off by a bright red comb and wattle, to command center stage. His efforts to prove that he's top dog—make that rooster—will easily win the sympathy of readers. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
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