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Animal Crackers Fly the Coop

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Overview

In a companion to his New York Times bestseller, Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share, O'Malley has once again mastered the art of wordplay and penmanship. Turning the Grimm's The Brementown Musicians on its funny bone, O'Malley has revised the classic story of four animals who part ways with their respective farmers to explore their artistic sides, this time sending them in search of belly laughs . . . and a great location for a comedy club. When they foil a band of robbers using their joke-telling talents, the ...

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Overview

In a companion to his New York Times bestseller, Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share, O'Malley has once again mastered the art of wordplay and penmanship. Turning the Grimm's The Brementown Musicians on its funny bone, O'Malley has revised the classic story of four animals who part ways with their respective farmers to explore their artistic sides, this time sending them in search of belly laughs . . . and a great location for a comedy club. When they foil a band of robbers using their joke-telling talents, the animals-including one determined comedi-hen-finally prove they can kill the crowd with laughter.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Eleanor Heldrich
This large picture book with a handsomely illustrated dust jacket is a thinly-disguised in-your-face joke book about a hen that wants to appear on stage in a comedy show. She wants to be a "comedi-hen." She eventually encounters a dog, then a cat, and finally a cow who also want to be comedians. One day while they are together, they stumble upon three robbers in a deserted house.. After foiling the criminals' plans to rob a bank, the four jokesters take control of the house for their comedy club and their dream is realized. Many of the jokes employ double meanings and words that sound alike but have different meanings. The author's colorful page-size illustrations are engaging and all of the text is in boxes. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Full of puns, this restructuring of the "Bremen Town Musicians" is clever, well executed, and loaded with laughs. O'Malley's expressive black-line illustrations over deep-hued colors bring the large images of the animals and robbers up-front on the page, increasing the interaction with his audience and enhancing the humor. Hen, after being told she will be chicken dinner on "Fry-day," runs away from the farm determined to fulfill her long-hoped-for plan to open a comedy club. Along the road, she recruits Dog, Cat, and Cow, who all have similar dreams as well as a flair for witticisms and bad jokes. That night, tired and hungry, the foursome take over an old house after the robbers inside leave to pull off a job. After gobbling down the leftover food and sharing numerous one-liners, the trespassers fall asleep. When the robbers return, the confrontation is hilarious: while shouting out gags to one another, the animals do enough barking, mewing, hissing, and bawling to send the men flying off into the night. Victorious, the four comedians now shine nightly at the Cow-Dog Kit-Hen Club where animals come from far and near to hear such groaners as, "Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? He didn't have the guts!" Purchase and enjoy—kids will crack up.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Kirkus Reviews
"The Brementown Musicians" is a wonderful bit of cleverness captured by the Brothers Grimm. Here O'Malley takes the folktale for a contemporary spin and has a high time with it. He follows the main architecture of the tale while ramping up the comedy. The animals aren't just worn out, they're ne'er-do-wells: The cat is no good at "claw enforcement," the dog all bark and no bite, the chicken too pooped from her stand-up routine to lay eggs and the cow (instead of the donkey) has forgotten how to produce milk (call it "Milk of Amnesia"). The one-liners and zingers might have been heard in the Catskills resorts 50 years ago: "The farmer I worked for was so dumb, he plowed his field with a steamroller because he wanted mashed potatoes." The author's customarily meticulous artwork is particularly appealing and a good counterpoint to the story, tamping the brightness of the wordplay with illustrations that are moody with shadow, somewhere in look between an etching and a woodcut, though with fine line work that makes the characters immediate rather than dreamy. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802798374
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 4/13/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 410,227
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

KEVIN O'MALLEY is the co-author and illustrator of the popular Miss Malarkey series as well as the award-winning Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude and the national bestseller Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

www.booksbyomalley.com

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Egg-cellent, as usual

    Punny, punny stuff. O'Malley retells the fairy tale, The Bremen Town Musicians, using as many groan-producing jokes as he can wrangle into a single picture book. A chicken who longs to be a stand-up comedi(hen)ne flies the coop after her farmer issues an ultimatum: lay eggs or FRYday, your goose is cooked (so to speak.) She hits the road (rather than crossing it) and encounters a dog, a cat, and a cow who share her dream of comedic stardom. Hilarity ensues. O'Malley is a talented illustrator -- the artwork here has an almost photorealistic quality that gives this supremely silly story a gritty counterpoint. Not hard to predict what most kids will say when you get to the last page: READ IT AGAIN!

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