cover image Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack!

Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack!

Ivor Baddiel, Sophie Jubb, , illus. by Ailie Busby. . Random/Fickling, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-385-75104-9

The baby rooster knows he has a job to do; he's just clueless as to how to go about it. His barnyard pals offer what they think is good advice, but when his lusty crows of "Cock-A-Doodle-Oink-Oink!" and "Cock-A-Doodle– Quack-Quack!" fail to rouse the farm, it's time to turn to the wise old owl. His suggestion: just listen to what the rooster at the farm next door says and copy that. Busby (Rosie's Zoo ) uses bright acrylics and big, reassuring shapes to depict an agricultural enterprise that seems populated wholly by stuffed animals (even the landscape has a cuddly, plush-toy look). The feathered hero is a bit of an odd duck (he hatches wearing purple-polka-dotted long underwear) but he's a spunky little fellow, and it's clear that his comrades like him. The book's primary appeal, however, comes from all the variations of "Cock-a-doodle-doo" that British team Baddiel and Jubb have dreamed up. If the grown-up reading this book aloud has just a smidgen of theatrical presence, the misinformed crows should delight even the most solemn preschooler. But be warned: the little rooster's final false start—"Cock-A-Poodle-Poo!"—may result in paroxysms of laughter. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)