The Barnes & Noble Review
Fresh from their Caldecott Honor win for Click Clack Moo, Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin present their sequel to the innovative tale of oppressed cows and the world of the written (er, typed) word. This time, it's the power of a pencil and the now-infamous wit of one determined Duck that keeps the farm (and young readers) in stitches.
Farmer Brown is going on vacation -- who could blame him after his last ordeal with Duck? He leaves the farm in the care of his suspenders-wearing brother, Bob, with a set of written instructions that include the warning "But keep an eye on Duck. He's trouble." As Farmer Brown drives away, Duck is seen eyeing a pencil, and readers can imagine what comes next. By the time Bob reads the first instructions from his brother, readers realize a few changes have been made, as in "Tuesday night is pizza night (not the frozen kind!)." Giggle, giggle. For the following day, Bob reads that the pigs need a bubble bath and a rubdown, including the use of the farmer's personal towels. Giggle, giggle, oink. Farmer Brown calls to check in, and when Bob reports no problems, his brother asks, "Are you keeping a very close eye on Duck?" Duck is too busy sharpening his pencil to notice Bob's stare. Thursday is movie night, as specified by the instructions. As The Sound of Moosic plays in the background, Farmer Brown calls again and hears "Giggle, giggle, quack, giggle, moo, giggle, oink..."
With the combination of a simple story and brilliant humor, young readers are sure to laugh at the wacky hijinks as the animals outwit Farmer Brown yet again. Fabulous watercolors convey the lighthearted spirit and jovial nature of these clever farm animals. Lewin's attention to hilarious detail, such as Farmer Brown's vacation attire (Hawaiian shirt and straw hat) and the very appropriate movie choice (made by the cows, of course) classifies this book as a truly rollicking read-aloud. (Amy Barkat)
The barnyard animals first seen in Cronin and Lewin's Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type continue to express themselves via the written word in this clever and funny sequel. When Farmer Brown takes a vacation and leaves his brother Bob in charge ("I wrote everything down for you. Just follow my instructions and everything will be fine. But keep an eye on Duck. He's trouble"), enterprising Duck sees boundless opportunity in the situation. The webbed fellow commandeers the pencil and paper that Farmer Brown has left behind and writes out his own feeding/care tips for Bob to follow: "Tuesday night is pizza night (not the frozen kind!). The hens prefer anchovies." (A "giggle, giggle, cluck" escapes from the onlookers.) Unaware of the note's authorship, Bob complies, and subsequent requests include indoor bubble baths for the pigs and the cows' choice for movie night ("The Sound of Moosic"). The jig is soon up with Duck and company found out in a humorous denouement. Cronin again balances wit and jovial warmth in scenarios that will have readers laughing out loud. Fans of the first book will delight in the details found in Lewin's chipper watercolor washes with a painted bold black line (the electric blankets originally demanded by the cows are put to good use, for example). This sitcom on the farm more than lives up to its title and demands repeat visits. Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
PreS-Gr 3-Farmer Brown's troublesome but impressively literate duck and her barnyard friends return for more antics in a hilarious sequel to Clic, clac, muu: Vacas escritoras (Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type, Criticas, Nov./Dec. 2002). This time Farmer Brown takes a vacation while his brother minds the farm. Bob, who arrives carrying a briefcase and wearing a necktie, is clearly not prepared for the hoodwinking he's about to receive. Farmer Brown has written down explicit instructions for Bob on maintaining the farm, but Duck finds a mislaid pencil and adds a few items to the list. Soon everyone is eating pizza. The pigs bathe with Farmer Brown's soap and dry off with his best monogrammed towels, and the cows enjoy a "Moovie" Night in Farmer Brown's living room. Of course, the fun has to end at some point, and Farmer Brown is not happy when he checks in and Duck answers the phone. Lewin's bright, bold watercolor illustrations perfectly accompany the story, adding to readers' enjoyment. The translation is lighthearted and will not pose any difficulties for young readers. A highly recommended title for all libraries and bookstores.
Sally Dennis, Dallas P.L., TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Remember that audacious duck who made an appearance in Click, Clack, Moo (S & S, 2000)? Well, he's back in this hilarious continuation of the subversive antics of Farmer Brown's animals. The farmer is off on a much-needed vacation, leaving his brother in charge with the admonition, "But keep an eye on Duck. He's trouble." Bob dutifully follows his brother's written instructions: "Tuesday night is pizza night .The hens prefer anchovies," and "Wednesday is bath day for the pigs. Remember, they have very sensitive skin," etc. Art and text cleverly play off one another. Early on, sharp-eyed viewers will observe that Duck is rarely without his pencil, thereby giving a clue as to who is really supplying the daily instructions. And Lewin's animated cartoon art with its loosely composed black line manages to capture well-meaning, but perfectly clueless Bob and that pampered barnyard crew. The scam ends when, during a check-in phone call, Farmer Brown hears "Giggle, giggle, quack" (the animals are watching The Sound of Moosic). Kids old enough to catch on will delight in seeing the clever animals pull off another fast one.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Cronin and Lewin team up again for a sequel about the clever crew from the Caldecott Honor-winning, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (2000). This time, Farmer Brown is away on vacation, and his brother Bob is taking care of the farm animals, with instructions to follow the notes the farmer left behind. The mischievous action is led by the duck, the "neutral party" in the previous story, who has learned to print neatly with a pencil. Does the quick-witted duck replace all Farmer Brown's notes with his own carefully printed orders? Do the farm animals get to order pizza, take bubble baths, and watch old movies? Do ducks quack? Lewin's bold watercolors with thick black outlines are just as funny as those in the first story, but a duck writing notes with a red pencil doesn't have the off-beat humor of cows click-clacking away on a typewriter. Similarly, the concept of farm animals tricking their kindly sitter into forbidden treats doesn't have the panache of going on strike for electric blankets. The refrain in this story changes with each incident to reflect the three kinds of animals, again suffering in comparison with that delightfully repetitive refrain in the original story. The many fans of Click, Clack, Moo (both adults and children) will want to read about the cows and their duck friend to see what happens next, but like most sequels, the second story stands not on top, but in the shadow of the innovative original. (Picture book. 3-7)