Thursday, December 26, 2013
REVIEW: Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger, Illustrated by Cece Bell
Genre: Picture Book/Humor
Audience: Pre-K–Grade 2
Summary: Crankee Doodle is bored. But when his pony helpfully suggests several possible solutions for the tedium, Crankee is unreceptive and becomes increasingly contrary with each of the pony's ideas.
First Line: "I'm bored."
Tracy's Thoughts: The song "Yankee Doodle" has never made much sense to me, but I absolutely loved singing it as a kid. (Truthfully, it's still kind of fun to sing.) But in this hilarious picture book, the nonsense lyrics take on new life and even get a bit of much needed clarification.
The illustrations are simple, in bold primary (and patriotic) colors. As Crankee becomes increasingly...well, cranky, squiggly, wavy lines are introduced in the background. Other subtle artistic touches add humor—particularly in the last pages, when Crankee and his pony finally make it to town. The highlight here, though, is Angleberger's (the Origami Yoda books) dialog between the cranky Yank and his pony. Crankee's escalating rants grow more and more long-winded and personal until both characters unravel in complete (and highly hilarious!) meltdowns.This book makes for a great read aloud and will prove particularly relevant for a child in the midst of his own irritable day.