cover image Peck, Peck, Peck

Peck, Peck, Peck

Lucy Cousins. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6621-7

Cousins’s black outlines and cozy colors (which will be instantly recognizable to Maisy fans) tell the story of a young woodpecker learning to peck. “Now hold on tight. That’s very good,” says the woodpecker father to his offspring. “Then peck, peck, peck, peck, peck the wood.” The junior woodpecker’s first efforts are revealed with a small, die-cut hole: “Peck peck peck ‘Oh, look, yippee!/ I’ve pecked a hole right through this tree.’ ” Eagerly, the bird ventures closer to a house and then inside it, turning successive pages into something that comes close to Swiss cheese. “I peck, peck, peck a magazine,/ a picture of Aunt Geraldine,/ an armchair, a teddy bear,/ and a book called Jane Eyre,” boasts the small bird. Exhausted, the pecking student heads home to bed. The father woodpecker appears to be a single father, and the sex of the young woodpecker is unstated. The story is stripped-down and expertly paced, and the idea of receiving warm praise from a parent for poking holes in a bunch of random objects stays funny all the way through. Ages 2–5. (Aug.)