Overview

Hilarious and heartwarming read-aloud from IRA Children’s Book Award winner

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him.
When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along ...
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Overview

Hilarious and heartwarming read-aloud from IRA Children’s Book Award winner

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him.
When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.

IRA Children’s Book Award winner Fiona Roberton has created an utterly charming read-aloud about a little bird that will win fans over with his hilarious attempts at communication and determination to go to any length to find a friend.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
The plot is a mite familiar…Roberton's illustrations, though, are totally her own. Drawn with pencil-sharp precision, Cuckoo is…irresistibly cute…
Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
Design aficionados will appreciate the typographical voices that rowf, baa, and oink their way through the latest from Roberton (Wanted: The Perfect Pet). In a wallpapered hollow tree, light-gray Cuckoo hatches next to two dark-gray siblings. The squat, egg-shaped babies share a hug with their dove-white mother. Yet when they open their mouths, everyone but Cuckoo sings, “Tootooweet!” in melodious, pink cursive script. Cuckoo clucks, “Cuckoo!” in school bus black-and-yellow. “It was all extremely confusing for everyone,” so Cuckoo goes “in search of someone who could understand him.” Drawing in a fine, penciled line, Roberton depicts a denatured city where pigs catch the bus and cows eat at a diner. Cuckoo cannot communicate with any of the animals, and when he tries studying their languages, his “Baa” is an incomprehensible “Buckoo Buckaa Caboo!.... His brain hurt from all the learning.” Bilingual readers and instructors may feel dismayed by this development, and although Roberton gives Cuckoo a happy ending, in which the bird befriends a toddler whose cuckoo-bird robot has broken, a gloomy sense of Cuckoo’s isolation and inability to communicate is what lingers. Ages 3–5. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
K-Gr 2—In this sweet story, a little cuckoo bird discovers that he is different from his siblings and goes in search of someone who can speak his language. As Cuckoo goes on his journey, several animals are introduced (hissing snakes, oinking pigs, mooing cows), making this a fun read-aloud. The characters are instantly likable, and the illustrations are bright and cheery and awash with sunny yellows. Packed with tons of heart, this book about finding one's place in the world is ideal for reading while snuggled in bed.—Krishna Grady, Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-19
In something of a variant on Andersen's "Ugly Duckling," Cuckoo searches for someone who might understand him. When the adorable Cuckoo hatches, his family members (obviously not cuckoos) say, "Too-too-weet!" But all he says back is "Cuckoo," which alienates him from the others. So he bravely leaves to find understanding. Pages of fruitless encounters with animals and people saying different things bring the young bird no closer to companionship, so he goes to school to learn others' languages. Unfortunately, he hasn't the gift for others' gab and is stymied in his efforts. In fact, "Cuckoo was exhausted. His brain hurt from all the learning." He heads to a rooftop to relax, and from his perch he hears someone calling, "Cuckoo!" It turns out that this call doesn't come from another bird like him but from a toddler's cuckoo toy. Lo and behold, the toy has just about worn out, and when it breaks, Cuckoo flies through the window to assume its place. With the dedication announcing "Based on a true story. (Sort of)," readers are invited to speculate about the intended meaning behind Cuckoo's adventure, but this remains elusive. This is not Andersen's bird finding his own kind, and Cuckoo's ultimate role as plaything reads like The Velveteen Rabbit subverted. The endearing, digitally rendered art outshines the story. A sweet, if uneven, tale. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698149717
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/27/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author


Fiona Roberton is the author of the 2011 International Reading Association award-winning picture book Wanted: The Perfect Pet, and its sequel, The Perfect Present. She was born in Oxford and studied art and design in London and New York. She currently lives in London.
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