cover image Pass It On!

Pass It On!

Marilyn Sadler, illus. by Michael Slack. Blue Apple (Random, dist.), $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-60905-188-4

When Cow gets stuck in a fence, Bee springs into action: “Bee buzz-buzzed to Frog’s pad and said: ‘Cow is stuck in the fence. Pass it on!’ ” As the message travels, however, it gets mangled beyond recognition. “Cow has money. Pass it on!” shouts wide-eyed Kitten to Mouse, who’s hanging out in the cupboard with the canned veggies and tuna. As befits the vintage nature of the game of telephone, Slack’s (Monkey Truck) artwork conjures images of early Golden Books like The Little Red Hen and The Poky Little Puppy. Frog, sitting on a lavender mushroom playing with a yoyo, has appendages reminiscent of a 1950s atomic starburst design; bright blue Goose strums a guitar in a finale that has the animals celebrating Cow’s eventual rescue with a milk-and- honey party in the barn. Sadler (the P.J. Funnybunny series) writes economically while maintaining a sense of both urgency and comedy, the latter surfacing in speech-bubble asides, as well as the catapult-to-the-butt that eventually frees Cow. Ages 4–up. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (June)