The Kooken

The Kooken

by Julia Lebentritt, Richard Ploetz, Clement Oubrerie

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kooken, a lovable but destructive Doberman, lives with Granny, whose stretch pants and curlers belong to no ordinary picture book grandmother. When niece Johanna visits, Kooken devours her cello, thinking it's some strange animal. Fortunately, Johanna discovers she can use the animal as a replacement: ``She rubbed across his chest with the bow. `DOHHHHHHHHHHHH . . . ' The windowpanes vibrated.'' She practices on this singular instrument--``the Kooken''--all summer and brings down the house with him at Carnegie Hall. This truly kooky tale, enlivened by scrawly, dynamic illustrations, remains fluid and engrossing despite its odd turns. Oubrerie is especially adept at capturing the ever-changing doggy moods, though Granny often looks rather unpleasant and Johanna's apparent age varies from picture to picture. Still, readers who can appreciate the often sophisticated shenanigans will shout ``encore!'' Ages 6-8. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-- Kooken is a tall, handsome Doberman pinscher who lives with Granny in an old farmhouse in Vermont. Granny's niece Johanna comes to spend the summer and practice the cello in preparation for a student performance at Carnegie Hall. The dog's large-scale klutziness and voracious appetite results in the poor girl's instrument being destroyed. Johanna discovers, however, that by bowing Kooken's middle and fingering his neck, the dog (who adores music) can easily emulate the finest cello. He accompanies her back to New York and saves the day when he rescues Johanna from a bad case of stage fright. The sophisticated cartoon illustrations of angular figures in dark, sketchy line and deep, unnatural hues are uneven and at times grotesque. With the exception of Kooken, characters change appearance from page to page. The tongue-in-cheek humor effectively carries this silly story, but it's likely to hold more appeal for adults than children. --Maria B. Salvadore, District of Columbia Public Library

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

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