Reviews for Cook-A-Doodle-Doo!

by Janet Stevens

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

"In this boisterous romp, four animal friends set out to bake a strawberry shortcake," said PW's starred review. "The illustrations are startling in their pop-off-the-page dimensionality." Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Stevens (Tops and Bottoms) and her sister cook up a boisterous romp as four animal friends set out to bake a strawberry shortcake. Rooster, tired of pecking for chicken feed, remembers that his famous great-grandmother (the Little Red Hen) wrote a cookbook, and in it he finds the recipe. Turtle, Iguana and Pig volunteer to help. If left solely to the text, the rest of the comedy-cum-cookery lesson would be fairly predictable: Turtle, reading the recipe, announces they need flour and Iguana rushes outside to pick a petunia; asked to beat an egg, Iguana hoists a baseball bat. (Handsomely illustrated sidebars explain most of the directions in depth.) Rooster sets Iguana straight while Pig keeps wanting to taste everything in sight. The illustrations, however, are startling in their pop-off-the-page dimensionality. In her characteristic style, Stevens mixes media, seamlessly combining paints, photos and computer art to witty effect; readers will want to look very closely to determine what's from real life and what's from a palette. Wearing their silly chef's hats (an inverted saucepan, an oven mitt, a kitchen towel and an apron), the four animals create a whirlwind of activity on every spread. Presiding adults should note that the strawberry shortcake recipe at the end is not as foolproof as the story would imply, even with the information in the sidebars; kids, enthused by the kitchen frolics depicted here, will surely want to attempt it. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A cross between a picture book take-off of the story of the Little Red Hen and a cooking lesson on the making of strawberry shortcake. When Big Brown Rooster, great-grandson of the Little Red Hen, discovers a recipe for strawberry shortcake in her book, The Joy of Cooking Alone, he makes up his mind to be a cook. In a nod to the original tale, Dog, Cat, and Goose won't help, but Turtle, Iguana, and Pig volunteer. Panels running down the outer margins of some pages offer further information on cooking; in the meantime, the antics surrounding the baking of the cake overtake the studied connections to Little Red Hen. Though entertaining, the story is not seamless in its many functions; it ends on a flat note with a splat of the shortcake on the floor and a pep talk about teamwork. The real humor is in the hilarious illustrations, where a sketchier-than-usual style gives the book a more hurried appearance. Stevens never misses an opportunity for expressiveness in her characters; her inclusion of funny details adds more silliness to the story, from the overturned copper-pot hat on Turtle to the T-rex measuring cup. (Picture book. 4-8)


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In a slapstick cooking lesson, Big Brown Rooster makes a strawberry shortcake with help from Turtle, Iguana, and Potbellied Pig--who look for flour in the garden and tablespoons under the table. Sidebars provide pointers and background information for would-be bakers. Digital and photographic images are seamlessly integrated into the large, elegantly composed mixed-media illustrations. Horn Rating: Superior, well above average. Reviewed by: lr, Genre: for Picture Books. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Ages 4^-8. Part careful recipe, part wild farce, this gloriously illustrated picture book brings the farmyard into the kitchen with parody and puns and nonsense slapstick that kids will love. Big Brown Rooster is sick of chicken feed. Inspired by his famous great-grandmother, Little Red Hen, he finds her recipe for strawberry shortcake. At first, no one will help ("Not I," said Dog); but then Turtle, Iguana, and Potbellied Pig are only too eager to join Rooster in the kitchen. Turtle can read; Iguana (with a striped oven mitt on his head) can get stuff; Pig is dying to taste; they are a team. The first ingredient is flour (Iguana dashes outside and picks a petunia). When the recipe says "sift," Iguana dives into the flour. Measure the flour: Iguana grabs a ruler. Beat the egg: he picks up a baseball bat. Each time, Rooster restores order ("No, no, no"), then does it right. With the main story and each hilarious, mouthwatering double-page picture of pandemonium, there is a quiet sidebar in small type that explains what recipes are, what ingredients are, what measuring and baking means, and how to make a strawberry shortcake, step by step. The luscious illustrations on hand-made paper are beautifully drawn and deliciously textured, in brilliant shades of red strawberry, brown cake, and creamy filling. The full recipe is printed on the last page, and kids will want to join the team, get in the messy kitchen, follow the directions, and eat that cake. --Hazel Rochman


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

"In this boisterous romp, four animal friends set out to bake a strawberry shortcake," said PW's starred review. "The illustrations are startling in their pop-off-the-page dimensionality." Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

K-Gr 3-Humor is the chief ingredient in this entertaining tale. Big Brown Rooster is hungry for new flavors and seeks out his great-grandmother's cookbook (the Little Red Hen's appropriately titled The Joy of Cooking Alone). In this case, however, Rooster does manage to find some animals that agree to help him. The confused efforts of inept Iguana, greedy Pig, and patient Turtle are amusing, as are Stevenson's slightly skewed representations of familiar objects (Land o' Pond's butter, a T-REX measuring cup). Against all odds, the end result looks delicious, but clumsy Iguana drops the strawberry shortcake on the floor and Pig quickly gobbles it up. Luckily, Rooster is patient, quite determined, and, it turns out, generous. When the four friends create another beautiful cake, even the animals that chose not to participate are invited to enjoy the feast. The basic premise of the story gives it the feel of a fractured fairy tale, and the mix of friendship, fun, and food will satisfy the appetites of most readers. Whether they will take the time to read the sidebars that explain baking terms and techniques-or try the featured recipe-is less clear. Luckily, it's easy enough to skip over the sidebars; and, in fact, doing so makes the story flow more smoothly. The mixed-media illustrations are drawn on paper made from such ingredients as flour, flowers, eggshells, and even baking powder, giving the book added flavor.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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