cover image The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

Carmen Agra Deedy, illus. by Eugene Yelchin. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-545-72288-9

“Seven very quiet years” after new laws turned the noisy village of La Paz into one as “silent as a tomb,” a gallito and his family arrive on the scene. The rooster’s crowing enrages the mayor, Don Pepe, who imprisons the rooster in a cage, among other escalating punishments. Deedy (14 Cows for America) uses repeating language to powerful effect, ramping up the stakes while underscoring the gallito’s steady determination. “And if you have no more corn?” asks Don Pepe, threatening the rooster with starvation. “I may sing a hungrier song,” answers the bird. “But I will still sing.” Just when it seems as though the rooster’s song will cost him his life, the citizens stage a nonviolent (but very noisy) revolution. Yelchin (Elephant in the Dark) amplifies themes of protest and injustice in vivid mixed-media caricatures that emphasize the rooster’s humble nobility in contrast to Don Pepe’s sneering autocratic airs. Like the gallito’s cries of “kee-kee-ree-kee!” Deedy’s message about speaking up and speaking out rings as clearly as a bell. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)