cover image Three Cheers for Tacky

Three Cheers for Tacky

Helen Lester. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-66841-2

As in Tacky the Penguin , deftly delivered humor reinforces the message that there is nothing wrong--and quite a bit right--with being different. The book's pithy text and winsome pictures are equally entertaining, and together immediately endear the ``odd bird'' Tacky to readers. His penguin cohorts--the appropriately named Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect--all dressed in starched white collars and natty bow ties. In droll contrast, Tacky's garb is, well, what his name suggests: his Hawaiian shirt is topped by a floppy, checkered bow tie. When a Penguin Cheering Contest is announced, Tacky's pals are determined to win the grand prize--shiny blue bow ties. Youngsters will laugh sympathetically at the out-of-step penguin's attempts to master the cheers that the others (now wearing matching blue sweaters and beanies) perform so gracefully. Though he finally learns the routine, Tacky resorts to his old clumsy self on the day of the competition--much to the enjoyment of the terribly bored judges. What the champion cheerer does with his new bow tie is typically Tacky--and delightfully different. Ages 4-8. ( Mar. )