cover image Crankee Doodle

Crankee Doodle

Tom Angleberger, illus. by Cece Bell. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-81854-2

Angleberger (the Origami Yoda books)—in his first picture book and his first collaboration with his wife, Bell—delivers some hilarious Americana-flavored trivia through the characters in the traditional yet lyrically puzzling song, “Yankee Doodle.” When a colonial-era Yankee announces that he’s bored, his pony suggests the pair could go to town. “Town?” replies the man. “No way. I hate going to town. There are too many people in town.” For each subsequent nudge from the pony (“You could buy a feather for your hat!”), the Yankee has a long-winded and highly opinionated rant against the idea (“A feather? For my hat? I’d look like a fool”). By book’s end, both characters have had meltdowns, prompting a Yankee change of heart and a comically anachronistic trip to town that will have readers laughing. Bell’s (Bug Patrol) gouache artwork features crisp lines and swaths of bold color; abundant humorous touches—from a “Ye Olde Shoe Shack!” storefront to the pony’s ultra-goofy set of teeth—keep pace with Angleberger’s crackling lines. Ages 4–8. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)