cover image Barnyard Slam

Barnyard Slam

Dian Curtis Regan, , illus. by Paul Meisel. . Holiday House, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1907-4

Regan's (Monster Baby ) parody specializes in terrible puns and broad humor, the kind young readers adore. At a poetry slam arranged by Yo Mama Goose, a kerosene lantern lights the proceedings as each animal takes the stage. Charley Horse rants about hay while Cow's wry “The Truth about Cows” quips (“We do not sing./ We do not type”). Duck ruffles feathers with her awkward rhyme scheme, and Lamb offers a Dr. Seuss takeoff (“I would not leave my friendly flocks./ I would not follow Wolf or Fox”). Only Turkey's hurt feelings throw a wrench in the competition (she objects to the invitation, which reads “Be there or Be-headed,” and refuses to perform). The puns fly thick and fast, and Meisel's (Harriet's Had Enough! ) warm and goofy pen-and-ink spreads convey the story's humor and energy (though the do-rags and bandannas the animals all wear come across as lame rather than hip). Adults may groan, but kids should find this more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)