cover image How Do You Wokka-Wokka?

How Do You Wokka-Wokka?

Elizabeth Bluemle, , illus. by Randy Cecil. . Candlewick, $15.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-3228-1

“Some days you wake up/ and you just gotta wokka” says the upbeat narrator of this infectious rhyme. As the boy dances along, he and a growing entourage ask neighboring children the recurring question, “How do you wokka-wokka?” and the kids demonstrate their distinctive walks: “I wokka-wokka/ like flamingos/ in a flocka—/ croakie-yocka/ leggy-longy/ pinky-hoppa-hoppa.” Cecil's cheerful city dwellers ride skateboards, play hopscotch and eat cotton candy, while dogs, cats and pigeons mill about, until the entire neighborhood has joined the boy's “wokka-wokka party.” With unflappable enthusiasm, art and text underscore the message that “Nobody wokkas/ in the same wokka way.” Cecil's animated oil paintings of city life are full of enough details for second and third readings. After Bluemle kicks things off with a prose intro, her rhymes, which are divided into verse- and chorus-like sections, quickly settle into a strong and catchy beat. Children will respond with glee to Bluemle and Cecil's (My Father the Dog ) wacky wokka rhythms and playful language that invite each reader to “wokka in their/ own crazy way.” Ages 3–5. (Aug.)