cover image COCK-A-MOO-MOO


Juliet Dallas-Conte, , illus. by Alison Bartlett. . Little, Brown, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-60505-2

This witty, rhythmic yarn introduces one very confused rooster. As the story opens, Rooster has forgotten how to crow: "When the sun came up in the morning, he took a deep breath and shouted... 'Cock-a-Moo-Moo.' " Painted with large grainy brushstrokes in glowing colors, Bartlett's (A Story for Hippo) deceptively childlike opening spread establishes a spontaneous folkloric feel. Rooster continues to mimic the calls of his fellow farm animals ("Cock-a-Quack-Quack" and "Cock-a-Oink-Oink"); a predictable pattern of censure ("That's not right!") and correction ("Only cows go moo") encourages children to chime in. Debut author Dallas-Conté times the plot developments just right: Rooster's eventual vow never to crow again lasts only until a fox gets ready to raid the henhouse, when Rooster's noisy response turns him into a barnyard hero. Viewed mostly at close range, Bartlett's animals bustle around the pages, exuding the energy Dallas-Conté's writing suggests. Lots of fun. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)