cover image That Kookoory!

That Kookoory!

Margaret Walden Froehlich. Browndeer Press, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-277650-3

The rural America of a more relaxed era forms the beguiling backdrop for this tale of a high-spirited rooster. Excited about the imminent town fair, the capering Kookoory attracts the attention of a hungry weasel-``I'll nab him while he's eating,'' the predator thinks. But Kookoory, ""hoping to make morning come more quickly,"" retires sans supper and the weasel bides his time, until the rooster's devoted human friends come to his rescue. Froehlich's (Hide Clifford Quick) atmospheric narrative style contributes to the book's old-fashioned tone, but although some of her vocabulary choices (pother, wiltish, burdock, etc.) lend a sense of period, they may be beyond the intended audience. The somewhat tepid drama, moreover, does not entirely sustain the lengthy story. Frazee's pen and colored ink artwork, however, is an unqualified success. Cross-hatching and similar fine lining refine her bucolic scenes and add particular expressiveness to her characters, both human and animal. Especially notable is her use of light and shadow in capturing such scenery as a pink-streaked morning sky, a moonlit nightscape, a streetlamp's nocturnal glow. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)