cover image Cock-a-Doodle-Doo-Bop!


Michael Ian Black, illus. by Matt Myers. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-9510-4

It’s just before dawn on the farm. A crescent moon hangs in the sky, and Myers (Battle Bunny) conjures up a landscape awash in purple and blue. But this farm’s hip rooster (he even wears shades at night) wants to replace his traditional crowing with something more interesting: scat, doo-wop, a trumpet solo, even record scratching (“wick wick wickee old mac wick wick wickee eieiooo”). It isn’t just annoying to his fellow farm denizens—it violates the laws of nature, as a bleary farm boy explains: “The sun won’t come up without a ‘cock-a-doodle-doo.’ ” The cow, whose attempts at being reasonable are the book’s funniest running joke, takes a different tack. “Look, Mel,” he says, “I’m all for creativity, but some things are perfect just the way they are.” When Rooster’s artistic integrity proves implacable, desperate measures prevail. This is a witty crowd-pleaser and a gift to those reading aloud, thanks to Black’s (Naked!) gooses of blaring onomatopoeia (the typography plays along, popping off the page) and character-rich dialogue. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)