cover image Nothing at All

Nothing at All

Denys Cazet / Author Scholastic $15.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-531-068

Animated, large-scale illustrations convey most of the humor in Cazet's ( ``I'm Not Sleepy' '; Born in the Gravy ) slight yet peppy tale. Perched on the arm of a scarecrow, a rooster with a megaphone issues his traditional wake-up call, and the animals respond with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The horse announces, ``I slept like a filly!'' but the cow ``woke up with a kink in her back, indigestion, a headache, an udder attack.'' The scarecrow, however, says ``nothing at all.'' His silence ends after a cat decides to breakfast on a mouse--who in turn seeks refuge in the scarecrow. Suddenly, the straw-stuffed creature exclaims: ``THERE'S A MOUSE IN MY PANTS!'' The text's tempo picks up as Cazet describes the scarecrow's antics: ``He pursed his lips / And jiggled his hips / And performed three backward / Double back flips.'' These acrobatics leave him headless and unstuffed (which may upset the littlest listeners), but the scarecrow does pull himself back together. The scarecrow's eyes bulge in shock; anxious pigs suck on their hooves--loopy exaggerations nicely geared to preschoolers. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)