A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe

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Overview

Swish, zoom, swish. Clickety-clack! When a bus full of critters breaks down, a sleepy roadside café suddenly wakes up! Raccoons, elephants, zebras, and rams are only a few of the many animals demanding grub, and it is all that a cook and a waiter can do to keep up. But when Skateboard Cow swerves her way through the crowd, more than a few feathers are guaranteed to be ruffled! Rhythmic text and energetic illustrations combine for a romp of pure fun and entertainment.

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Overview

Swish, zoom, swish. Clickety-clack! When a bus full of critters breaks down, a sleepy roadside café suddenly wakes up! Raccoons, elephants, zebras, and rams are only a few of the many animals demanding grub, and it is all that a cook and a waiter can do to keep up. But when Skateboard Cow swerves her way through the crowd, more than a few feathers are guaranteed to be ruffled! Rhythmic text and energetic illustrations combine for a romp of pure fun and entertainment.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
It is a quiet morning at the cafe—until a broken bus disgorges a menagerie of hungry and messy critters. Elephants, raccoons, macaws, turtles, rams, and zebras storm through the cafe demanding to be served. The harried waiter and cook do their best to serve the persnickety crowd until the waiter—flat on the floor with "cupcake in his eyes, covered with ketchup, milk and fries"—orders everyone out. Just when the pair thinks they have peace at last, the cow declares she has missed the bus and plans to stay. That is too much for the waiter and cook who flee, leaving the cafe to reopen under a new name and management—Cow's Cafe. This rollicking tale told in rhyming verse and filled with slapstick will have readers bouncing along with the humor. Lots of onomatopoeic words add resonance, and the creative mixed media illustrations bring to life the chaos and progressing mess that ensues. Kids will ask for this to be read again and again. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal

Pres-Gr 2

"It's a quiet morning at the Critter Café./The cook was dozing in his cheese soufflé./The waiter was whistling sleepy tunes...." Then, a busload of hungry animals bursts into the restaurant. The men work frantically to serve the cacophonous crowd and satisfy picky eaters who send dishes back to the kitchen. Ultimately, a skateboarding cow brings a crashing end to the chaos, as bovine meets waiter with fully loaded tray. As food flies, the animals are unceremoniously ordered out. They pile on their bus and leave-except for the cow, who awakens in a pile of mashed potatoes and takes over when the fed-up cook and waiter flee the scene. The overlong text sometimes stretches to come up with a rhyme, and the ending seems a bit contrived. Rendered in mixed media, the muted, sketchy artwork is packed with personality. A zoo full of animals is depicted and set against crackled pastel backgrounds. Though kids will enjoy the food-fight feel of the tumultuous visit, the slight story line may not leave them fully satiated.-Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Havoc erupts in high-spirited fashion when the animals' bus breaks down outside the local restaurant. In lively rhyme, raccoons lead the boisterous menagerie into the cozy cafe. Unfortunately for the chef and waiter, manners are lacking as the animals descend en masse. The cow skateboards down the stairs, the elephant band stomps in with tubas and the ostrich squawks for cherry strudel. The waiter's spill sets off a disastrous chain reaction, causing the server to sneeze peas from his nose. When the critters are removed for their shenanigans, the staff rejoices until a dazed bovine emerges from the mess. The rhythmic phrases combine creative wordplay and natural pacing. Changing fonts emphasize the dramatic images. While never cluttered, White's vibrant art conveys the disheveled environment. Muted, colorful backgrounds support the fluid mixed-media characters. Colorful splotches reinforce the sloppy surroundings; messy tables and flying food add amusing details. There are not too many cooks in this kitchen, as high-interest humor creates a rollicking read-aloud. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416939146
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 6/9/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 372,415
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Odanaka is the author of Smash! Mash! Crash! There Goes the Trash!, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, and you can visit her online at barbaraodanaka.com. Lee White is the illustrator of such books as The House Takes a Vacation by Jacqueline Davies. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and you can visit him online at leewhiteillustration.com.

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Customer Reviews

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