The creators of Souperchicken here introduce two crowing roosters who annoy a pig and cow with their noise. When preparations for the Halloween Poultry Parade become too noisy, the "old grumps" frighten the birds by dressing as a "poultrygeist." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Rudy and Ralph are best friends. They are also roosters, and take pride in being the first and loudest to crow at sunrise. Most of the farmyard animals are used to the racket, but Sophie the pig and Clarissa the cow wish they could get some peace and quiet. When the animals start preparing for Halloween, the noise reaches especially high decibels until suddenly everyone is silenced by a tall monster rising up from the corner of the barn — it's the poultrygeist, a ghost who had been sleeping for 100 years until awakened by all of the cackling. Rudy and Ralph sleep outside that night, and hold each others' beaks to keep from crowing and rousing the poultrygeist. The next night is Halloween and it is too cold to sleep outside, but the roosters are feeling sort of chicken and fight over who should sleep near where the ghost was last seen. Finally, the mystery of the poultrygeist is solved, and the noisy roosters are finally silenced. The illustrations are a hoot. Although the story is fairly predictable, it's a lot of fun and Rudy and Ralph are wonderful allegorical characters for noisy children to meet. 2003, Holiday House, Judy Rowen
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Rudy and Ralph, two rowdy young roosters, love making a racket. Though most of the farmyard denizens don't mind the noise, Clarissa the cow and Sophie the pig are notable exceptions. When the animals gather to work on their Halloween costumes, a huge "poultrygeist" suddenly appears and scares them all right out of the barn. Told that the ghost only appears if it is awakened by noise, the two roosters try mightily-but futilely-to quiet down. On chilly Halloween, all the animals return to the warm barn, and the roosters screw up their courage to face the apparition. In a surprise twist, they unmask it and discover that it pays to be more considerate. Splashed with bright colors and featuring big-eyed poultry, the cartoon illustrations bounce across the pages with cinematic perspectives. In art and text, the humor shines in this holiday tale. A Halloween book that kids will crow about.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In the Auchs’ eighth "poultry parody," the noisy farmyard animals ignore requests from Clarissa the cow and Sophie the pig to pipe down, until a tall, ghostly figure drives everyone out of the barn the night before Halloween. The animals don’t nerve themselves to return until after the next night’s parade--whereupon the "ghost" rises again, but turns out to be only Sophie, standing atop Clarissa and covered with feed sacks. Mixing occasional photos into digitally produced farmyard scenes, the Auchs use dark backgrounds to brighten colors, and outfit their furred and feathered cast in amusingly altered costumes. Clarissa finally brings temporary peace to the barn by sitting on the noisiest offenders, rival bantams Rudy and Ralph. Predictable, and a bit thin, but good humored throughout. (Picture book. 6-8)