cover image Can U Save the Day?

Can U Save the Day?

Shannon Stocker, illus. by Tom Disbury. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-585364-04-6

Boorish B, the bully of this animalian/abcedarian barnyard, flaunts to A the consonants’ numerical superiority over their vowel peers (“There are 5 vowels in your group/ but 21 in our grand troop” begins Stocker in consistent rhyme). Insulted, A disappears, changing the animals’ cries from “bark” to “brk,” “quack” to “quck,” and “croak” to “crok.” Soon E, I, and O take off, too, leaving the animals tongue-tied (“Mmmmmm?” says the cow). And the situation worsens when a rogue tractor threatens to barrel through a field of snoozing consonants. B and U are quick to notice, but without O, the tractor’s horn only musters a “hnk.”After U saves the day by making an unexpected transformation, she sets things to rights around the farm. Disbury’s expressive ink-and-wash letters add to the narrative’s playfulness and drama in equal measure. An adventuresome lesson in phonetics and friendship. Ages 6–7. [em](Aug.) [/em]