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When Little Rooster finds a bit of bling ("a diamond button!"), he wants to give it to his poor, goodhearted mistress. A greedy king, however, steals the button and tries to kill the feathered hero. But the monarch is repeatedly outfoxed, so to speak, by the rooster's "magicstomach." When the king orders the rooster thrown into a beehive, for example, the rooster tells his stomach to simply eat up all the bees; when the king then tries to squash the rooster by sitting on him, the rooster regurgitates the insects ("Spit out all the bees... and let them sting that King!" the fowl commands). The triumphant Little Rooster ultimately bestows upon his owner not only the button, but also the entire contents of the royal treasury. MacDonald (Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur!) retells this folktale with her usual verve and astute ear for what pleases a read-aloud audience. Terry's (Armadilly Chili) acrylic paintings make a good match with their appealingly woozy feel. His googly-eyed characters look at home amid silly hysteria, while his swooping lines, radiantly brassy colors, and off-kilter perspectives capture a world where anything is possible. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
This version of a Hungarian folktale is perfectly suited to a storytelling performance. A little rooster finds a diamond button, only to have it snatched up by a greedy king. The rooster goes to the palace and demands that it be returned. The monarch tries to get rid of him, but he uses his amazing magic stomach to escape from a well, a fire, and a beehive. Finally he not only wins the button back, but manages to obtain all of the king's treasure as well. The story is simple but amusing and has good cadence and pacing. MacDonald has eliminated all extraneous detail so movement from scene to scene is quick. There is much here to delight listeners, especially when the rooster releases a swarm of bees in the king's baggy pants. Terry's plucky acrylic illustrations heighten the humor. He uses rich, contrasting colors and exaggerated facial features to make the characters and scenes energetically funny. Celia Barker Lottridge's version (Groundwood, 2001) is illustrated by Joanne Fitzgerald with traditional watercolor-and-ink pictures, and the story is told with more embellishment. It is well suited for individual reading, but MacDonald's is better for group sharing.
—Donna CardonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted December 5, 2008
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