A bear's inspired idea to create a tower of animals in order to reach some honey is all the premise that Hawkes (Library Lion) and debut author Black need to launch an encyclopedia of animal posteriors. As the tower grows, readers learn that, in Hawkes and Black's alternative universe, a duck's rear end may be a tail, but a moose has a caboose, a turkey has a tushy, and a toucan a can. Hawkes's cast runs the gamut of goofy expressions; this smorgasbord of demeanors, coupled with the sheer improbability of the tower (the rhinoceros and giraffe are stacked upside-down on top of a very spindly flamingo), make this a surefire crowd-pleaser. The tower is finally undone by the stinger on a bumblebee, but not before readers' vocabularies have been boosted by 16 ways to refer to buttocks. And if that's not an example of literature enriching our lives, what is? Ages 3-7. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chicken Cheeksby Michael Ian Black, Kevin Hawkes
Some bears will go to any length to get some honey. This one recruits every animal that comes along to form, well, a stack. The result? Tail of the duck to the gluteus maximus of the duck-billed platypus (with many other rears in between). Readers will giggle with delight at the bird's eye view of some hysterical animal bottoms. Follow this back-sided journey up… See more details below
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Some bears will go to any length to get some honey. This one recruits every animal that comes along to form, well, a stack. The result? Tail of the duck to the gluteus maximus of the duck-billed platypus (with many other rears in between). Readers will giggle with delight at the bird's eye view of some hysterical animal bottoms. Follow this back-sided journey up the tree - where the real surprise awaits. The pairing of Black's minimal text with Hawkes's visual story line will keep you chuckling from the bottom up.
As every parent and teacher knows, little kids giggle over rear ends-and Chicken Cheeks is sure to keep them laughing. It features the hind quarters of animals, complete with silly names for them, from beginning to-well-end: "rhinoceros rump," "penguin patootie," "polar bear derriere," "turkey tushy." The close-up, color-saturated illustrations-which are at the same time obviously hilarious and sneakily deadpan-tell a story. A brown bear stands poised atop a ladder, gazing thoughtfully up the skinny trunk of a tall, branch-free tree. He grabs a duck and sets it on his head. As he does, readers get an eyeful of the duck's rear; the accompanying text merely says "duck tail." Somehow a huge moose finds itself perched on top of the duck's head: "moose caboose." When a chicken precariously clasps the moose's antlers and proceeds to lay an egg on its nose, only the bear is smiling. Credibility is suspended by the time the moose sits on the duck without squashing it. Sixteen animals later, children can only laugh helplessly at the absurd ladder of animals balanced parallel to the tree trunk. By then they're able to see what the bear was trying to do-and how it backfires. Filled with visual jokes and amusing details, Chicken Cheeks is a lot more than a list of words for kids to snicker at.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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