Watch Your Tongue, Cecily Beasley

Lane Fredrickson, illus. by Jon Davis. Sterling, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-40277-089-0
It is said that the tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the human body, and the one belonging to ill-mannered Cecily Beasley is a whole lot stronger by the end of her ordeal in this cautionary tale. Cecily has many bad habits—“She tap-danced on tables./ She cartwheeled in dirt./ And she wrote, ‘I won’t share’ on the front of her shirt”—but worst of all is her tendency to stick out her tongue at friends and family alike. She is warned that her tongue might get stuck that way, and, wouldn’t you know it, it does just that. Debut author Fredrickson doesn’t stop there: a bird promptly builds a nest on Cecily’s tongue, forcing the girl to carry it around in front of her face. It’s not until the Mockingbeak Tongue-snatchers hatch (and promptly stick out their tongues at Cecily) that she has a change of heart. Fredrickson’s galloping verse delivers the story’s message with a light touch (and some clever rhymes), while British illustrator Davis’s loose, expressive cartoons make the most of the comic absurdity of the premise. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
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