The pair behind Farm Flu returns to the barnyard for another heapin' helpin' of monkeyshines. It's April Fool's Day, but who's fooling whom? With tight, energetic couplets, Bateman gives voice to the visiting grandkids (aided and abetted by Grandma, it turns out) as they try to convince Grandpa that the farm is in chaos. In their scenario, first the chickens fly the coop, then the runaway pigs use the tomato patch for a food fight and finally, "Grandpa, oh, Grandpa!/ The sheep are all gone!/ I heard that they're munching/ on somebody's lawn!" Westcott, game as ever for upping the ante of any silly scene, comically imagines the renegade grazing but also throws in a pair of sheep who've gone way beyond that-they've commandeered lawn chairs, and one of them grooves to an iPod. Grandpa refuses to rise to the April Fool's bait until his wife delivers the coup de grace: "You'll find, to your sorrow,/ it's not April Fools' Day today,/ but tomorrow!" Of course, everything is normal, and Grandpa realizes that despite his best efforts, he has been busted-big-time. A closing image proves that the group is not mean-spirited but just engaging in a bit of fun. The book's double-edged joke (Grandpa won't be fooled, and so he's more foolish) and the fact that kids love the idea of adult-sanctioned mischievousness makes this a surefire giggle-inducer. Ages 5-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
As the title implies, this delightful story centers around an April Fool's Day stunt at grandma and grandpa's farm while their grandchildren are visiting for the day. One bright and sunny morning while grandpa is making his breakfast and grandma is getting dressed, this peaceful farm turns wild. Or does it? Lively, fun, and seemingly familiar, this crazy morning at grandma and grandpa's will make you feel like you are in on the trick and part of the family. The illustrations are colorful and imaginative, and they do a wonderful job of capturing the events that are taking place on the farm. You will laugh at the pigs all rolling in the tomatoes and at the sheep all lounging on the neighbor's patio furniture, and you'll wonder what is real and what is not. Children and parents will get a lot of mileage out of this story all year round. 2004, Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 6 up.
Sheree Van Vreede
K-Gr 2-Family pranks highlight the gentle, teasing relationships in this amusing tale. Grandpa thinks he's wise to his grandchildren's April Fools' Day tricks and ignores their warnings of animals run amok. According to the children, cows, chickens, goats, and sheep are running wild in a glorious celebration of freedom while calm, collected Grandpa methodically cooks his breakfast. Grandma joins in with a hoax of her own to cap the morning. Cartoon artwork closely follows the action as the disarray grows, drawing readers into Grandpa's imagination and disbelief. Bold watercolors, punctuated by ink detail, frame the animals' frolic as described in the rhyming verse. Wake up a storytime about farm life or save this one for April foolishness.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Grandpa's no chump. The grandchildren have come to the farm for the day and they hurtle through the door with all manner of wild news: The cows are loose! The pigs are in the tomatoes! The sheep are eating the neighbor's lawn! "Grandpa, oh, Grandpa! / The goats are all freed! / They're running around / in a smelly stampede!" But Grandpa knows that it's April 1st and he isn't biting, except on a little bacon after he hears about the pig, and an egg after he hears about the hens. Both Bateman and Westcott keep pace with all this: the text alternately hysterical and deadpan, the artwork aflurry one moment and placid the next. When Grandma notes to Grandpa that it isn't April Fools' Day until tomorrow, he heads out the door as if he's been goosed. Grandma triumphs: it really is the fool's day. Okay, so Grandpa is a chump. (Picture book. 4-7)
"Zany and inventive, the artwork amplifies the story's humor."Booklist, Starred Review
"Wake up a storytime about farm life or save this one for April foolishness."
School Library Journal