ELVIS THE ROOSTER ALMOST GOES TO HEAVEN
Denys Cazet, . . HarperCollins, $15.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-06-000500-9
Centering on the engaging rooster friend to Cazet's Minnie and Moo, this new I Can Read book handily showcases the author's snappy humor, which permeates both narrative and pictures. When a bug flies into Elvis's mouth just as he prepares to "proud[ly] wake the world," his gasping prevents him from crowing and the sun rises without his welcome. "Worthless.... I might as well be a cow," moans the frustrated fellow (luckily, his bovine buddies remain out of earshot; they make no appearance in this book). After his feathered friends tuck him into bed in the chicken coop, Elvis asks, "What good is living if you're not a rooster anymore?" and melodramatically bids farewell. His pals' plan to help Elvis recover his "pluck" misfires with hilarious—yet ultimately successful—consequences. The entertaining supporting cast of beaked characters includes a trio of bickering hens who engage in comical wordplay ("He's lost his pluck" "Cluck?... He's lost his cluck?" "Pluck!... Pluck!" "Duck?... You're giving my job to a duck?" Elvis chimes in) and the benignly thug-like, sunglasses-sporting Little Willie and Rocky, who mastermind and execute the scheme. Packing plenty of pluck and cluck, and careening from the slapstick to the droll, Cazet's tale will tickle novices as well as established readers. Ages 4-8.
Reviewed on: 03/17/2003