The Big Bad Rumor

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's a goose, and not a boy, that cries wolf this time, but after a riotous mangling of information that brings to mind the old game of Telephone, she turns out to be absolutely right. Meres's (Somewhere Out There) story opens with the "goggle-eyed" goose flapping her wings furiously and announcing, "There's a big bad wolf coming and he's hopping mad!" As the message is passed from animal to animal (and, in one instance, to an insect), the words get twisted. At one point, a panicked fox believes Goose has said, "He wrestled a moose and then swallowed him whole," a scenario depicted by East (The Very Little Leprechaun Tale) with comic gusto. Finally, "a small, sad wolf" appears at the animals' hiding place, much to the relief of all sequestered. But there's a kicker: right behind him is big, salivating Dad. That ending may unsettle younger readers--is the wolf going to triumph and eat the animals after all? But East's goofy cartooning keeps the mood light, and the fleeing goose's satisfaction in being able to say, "Told you so!" makes for an appealing, offbeat punch line. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
"There's a big bad wolf coming," honks the goggle-eyed goose, all in a flap, "and he's hopping mad." The alarm spreads through whimpering weasel¾"whiskers twitchin," jittery jay¾"tail flicking," to harried hedgehog¾"prickles prickling," until owl tries in vain to calm the rumor down. At last comes a knock on the door. "Yikes! That'll be him now! Quick everyone, hide!" commands the goose, who opens the door to "A small sad wolf..." Just as the animals are wiping their brows in relief, the small sad wolf tells them "AND I'VE BROUGHT MY DAD!" as he introduces a very scary and mad grown wolf. The book is a puzzle. Will the small children who are its audience find solace and edification here? It is hard to imagine so, for instead of a big bad rumor being quashed, they are given a big bad wolf. The flap copy calls it a "feisty...game of telephone in which the tale gets taller with each retelling," and maybe this review makes too much of the big bad wolf at the end, but that was no rumor. The lively drawings, however, may tickle childish fancies. 2000, Orchard Books,
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Part "Chicken Little," part game of gossip, and all silliness, this story is an entertaining read-aloud. A "goggle-eyed goose" scurries about warning of a big bad wolf coming. Each creature that hears the warning warps the message so the wolf is envisioned "scaring a pig," "mean and scary," "incredibly hairy," etc. An owl tries to straighten things out with no success. Finally, a small wolf arrives at the door and everyone relaxes, only to learn he brought his dad-you guessed it-big and bad. Even very young listeners who may not follow all the wordplay will enjoy the simple, expressive cartoon illustrations, particularly those of the different visions of the wolf in a pink wig or riding a motorcycle. British roots show only a wee bit with the references to a polecat and a hedgehog. This title will never become a classic, but it is lots of fun.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Goggleeyed goose is in an uproar because there's a big bad wolf coming and he's hopping mad! Or is it shopping mad? Is the wolf really big and scary, or just incredibly hairy? Somebody better get the story straight before that fuzzy, cowsized villain show up! The Big Bad Rumor is Jonathan Mere's lively story of how the tale gets taller and more ticklish with each retelling over the telephone. The risky wordplay and Jacqueline East's cartoonstyle illustrations blend together and present a picturebook story that is ideal for family and classroom readaloud times.
Kirkus Reviews
A dash of Chicken Little combined with a pinch of that classic childhood game Telephone is a recipe for success in this boisterous tale of miscommunication. When the goggle-eyed goose rushes to tell the barnyard animals that a wolf is coming, the story gets twisted, warped, and generally misconstrued until the panicked creatures are in a frenzy of confusion. Meres's crafty wordplay is hilarious. " ‘What's that? There's a whopping bad wolf and he's wearing a wig?' cried the jittery jay, tail flicking. ‘What's that? He's shopping mad and he's scaring a pig?' cried the harried hedgehog, prickles prickling." Like the sly wolf in Jan Fearnley's Mr. Wolf's Pancakes (not reviewed), this villainous wolf has a trick up his sleeve. As the barnyard frenzy reaches a fevered pitch, a very young, innocuous-looking wolf appears at the door . . . with his big, bad dad. This surprise ending is good for a shriek and a laugh. Some of East's illustrations, while very funny, definitely appeal more to an adult sense of humor. After all, not many three-year-olds can savor the irony of a leather-bedecked wolf atop a motorcycle or that same wolf in a poofy pink wig wielding a hair dryer in a beauty parlor. Despite the fact that the subtler humor may elude them, preschoolers will pick up on the inherent silliness of the comical pictures and enjoy the escalating outrageousness of the tale. An exuberant read-aloud that's sure to generate gales of giggles. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531302927
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD160L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.71 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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