cover image Cows in the Kitchen

Cows in the Kitchen

June Crebbin. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0645-9

Lending itself to a sing-along rather than a read-aloud (the text can be sung to the tune of ""Skip to My Lou""), the merriment of this mischievous book is contagious. Barnyard animal sounds punctuate Crebbin's (Into the Castle) catchy text: ""Ducks in the dishes, quack, quack, quack [repeat twice]/ That's what we do, Tom Farmer!"" After seeing the animals wreaking havoc in the house, readers spy the farmer sleeping in the haystack, who chases the animals out and promptly falls asleep in an armchair. Crebbin's clever pacing comes into play as the prankster animals sneak in with a ""shhh, shhh, shhh,"" and pounce on the innocently dozing fellow. McEwen makes a splash of a debut with her bustling, highly animated, slightly flattened cartoon drawings. High-stepping cows balance bottles on their noses, lick Jell-O and smash dishes; ducks make themselves comfortable in the cupboard, cozying up in a teapot and pilfering sugar cubes; sheep bounce and flop happily on the sofa. The broadly smiling troublemakers are an irresistible crew, ready to ambush unsuspecting readers as well with their rambunctious gaiety. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)