Yaul the porcupine likes to say "no!" In fact, it's the only thing he likes. But with a little help from rap duo Hip and Hop, this prickly porcupine might just discover something he can say "yes" to. Straight from Oldskool County, this hilarious companion to Hip & Hop, Don't Stop!, introduces a brand-new character that kids will love! Featuring short raps read at varying speeds and comic book elements, this jacketed picture book is a rollicking read-aloud that will have kids...
Yaul the porcupine likes to say "no!" In fact, it's the only thing he likes. But with a little help from rap duo Hip and Hop, this prickly porcupine might just discover something he can say "yes" to. Straight from Oldskool County, this hilarious companion to Hip & Hop, Don't Stop!, introduces a brand-new character that kids will love! Featuring short raps read at varying speeds and comic book elements, this jacketed picture book is a rollicking read-aloud that will have kids saying "yes!"
Hip and Hop, the woodland rappers from Hip and Hop Don’t Stop, are back for their second number. As in the first book, Hip the turtle’s rhymes are meant to be read slowly (“What’s the rush?/ I’m in no hurry./ My skin is slick/ and Hop’s is furry”), and rabbit Hop’s rhymes are fast (“Come on, friend,/ pick up the pace./ Pedal faster./ Turn up the bass”). Their shows are a big success, until they come across Yaul, a naysaying porcupine with a hidden talent. Czekaj’s fondness for hip-hop inspired puns remains intact (performers at Yaul’s birthday party include Bee-yoncé and Moo-tang clan) in this raucous encore. Ages 3–7. (May)
- Pamela Barr Lichty
Yaul is a prickly porcupine who says "no" or "negatory" to absolutely everything. Hip, a slow turtle, and Hop, a fast bunny, are rappers who decide to take their show on the road. The duo perform to great acclaim until they come to Sugar Hill Park, where Yaul's grumpy disclaimers prompt them to cook up a scheme to improve his outlook. The surprise birthday party they plan is met with the porcupine's "hmphs" and "yucks" until the presents are unwrapped. Donning a sweater handmade by his aunt, Yaul is tormented by its small size and itchy texture. When he begins to squirm and wiggle Hip and Hop begin a wild rap celebrating his dance moves. Right in the midst of insisting he was not dancing and was not having a good time, Yaul realizes that he is having fun and does not always need to be a grump. Now everyone is having fun and, when asked if he wants to dance, Yaul says "Yes!" Czrekaj's layout and illustrations border on frenzy, and many of the books' musical allusions will entertain an adult reader far more than the young listeners for which the book is intended. This companion book to Hip & Hop, Don't Stop! is definitely not a bedtime read! Reviewer: Pamela Barr Lichty
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The rabbit and turtle rappers from Hip & Hop, Don't Stop! (Hyperion/Disney, 2010) are back for another crowd-pleasing gig. The Oldskool County duo plays to appreciative frogs in Slowjamz Swamp and goats on Turntable Mountain, but they encounter a heckler in Sugar Hill Park. Porcupine Yaul not only disses their music, but he also has a long list of aversions, including rainbows ("Too many colors"), the smell of flowers ("Yuck" ), and the color blue ("Yawn"). Hip and Hop try to change Yaul's standoffish, negative attitude by throwing him a surprise birthday party. The piñata and cake fail to impress and an itchy wool sweater sends the prickly fellow "scratch[ing] and squirm[ing]" across the dance floor. Then "busting moves" to the rappers' beats, Yaul realizes that taking part and "saying yes was much more fun." Czekaj's witty, paneled cartoons are full of puns: Bee-yoncé's wings flutter while she sings "all the single Queen bees," and a rat with the moniker "Kanye Pest" has a trash-can stage. Hip's and Hop's speech bubbles are color coded: red text for Hip's slow drawl and green for Hop's rapid-fire style. The infectious rhymes and clever wordplay make for a perfect read-aloud.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Hip and Hop (Hip & Hop, Don't Stop!, 2010) return to put some positive vibes into the life of a Mr. Negativo. Czekaj's rap duo has taken the show on the road for the summer. They have wowed the crowds all across Oldskool County with their blend of jazzy and languorous rapping. Hip, being a turtle, rhymes to his own relaxed beat, while Hop, a rabbit, puts a little zip into her phrasings, and readers are encouraged to follow suit. The raps have the kind of engaging splash that ought to get those same readers into the mix, maybe throwing down a few of their own lines to go with "We're leaping frogs / and chilling on logs," and "We're holding our breath, / while still looking def." But one of the book's characters, Yaul the porcupine, isn't impressed. Actually, Yaul isn't impressed by anything: not rainbows or butterflies, not stylish mittens, fuzzy kittens, carrots or parrots. It takes an itchy sweater to turn Yaul's head around--to learn that he can chill enough to get excited about the world around him (maybe not sewer grates, admittedly)--which is appropriately out of left field to go along with the rest of the story. Czekaj's tale radiates good cheer, in both its snappy dialogue and its vitalizing artwork, and effectively counsels that involvement is one of the keys to living. (Picture book. 3-7)
Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)
Meet the Author
Jef Czekaj is an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, and musician. His comic strip "Grandpa and Julie: Shark Hunters" ran in Nickelodeon Magazine for more than ten years. He has illustrated several children's books, including Hip & Hop, Don't Stop! and Cat Secrets. He is also the DJ for Big Digits. Jef lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.