Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Crankee Doodle

Booklist (June 1, 2013 (Vol. 109, No. 19))
Grades K-3. In this laugh-out-loud reworking of “Yankee Doodle,” Angleberger introduces a miserable and argumentative colonial fellow whose goofy-toothed pony tries to talk him into going to town. At first, Crankee has lots of reasons not to make the trip: “There is nothing good to do in town. Why would I want to go to town?” The pony suggests a shopping adventure, and then lists the things that they could purchase, and for each suggestion, his grouchy companion responds with a stream of whining answers. Eventually, the pony is brought to tears, and a contrite Crankee agrees to the trip after all, with an unexpected turn that puts the pony behind the wheel of a car. In his first picture book, the author of the Origami Yoda series puts a witty, accessible spin on the familiar song, while Bell’s bright, bold gouache images extend the zany humor. One final delightful twist: it’s Crankee’s pony who narrates the postscript about the tale’s traditional origins.

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