cover image Don’t Feed the Coos!

Don’t Feed the Coos!

Jonathan Stutzman, illus. by Heather Fox. Holt, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-30318-9

Married collaborators Stutzman and Fox (Llama Destroys the World) present the darkly comic—and maybe even existential—hazards presented by a whole flock of pigeons (“coos”) in this send-up of cause-and-effect titles such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. “If you feed one”—a child stands with a bag of bread, beguiled by a small gray coo—“they will ALL come.” Quickly surrounded, the child is tailed by coos (“through the park,/ down the street.../ Even at karate lessons”) who never stop eating and poo with impunity (“coo poos covering everything”). “No matter what scheme you cook up,” the narrator cautions as a variety of “Go Away” signs are installed, “your plans. Will. FAIL.” Should the child capitulate (“Just accept your fate..../ Give them names./ Knit them scarves”), or could it be that someone who truly loves the coos is missing them terribly? Fox’s graphic illustrations echo the text’s giddy rhythms, with the pigeons styled, Willems-like, as pert, wide-eyed, always-in-profile graphic motifs that skip, flit, and, yes, poo prodigiously across the pages. Ages 4–8. [em](Feb.) [/em]