Review of Crankee Doodle

Crankee Doodle
by Tom Angleberger; 
illus. by Cece Bell
Primary    Clarion    32 pp.
6/13    978-0-547-81854-2    $16.99    g
As concepts for picture books go, it’s hard to think of one cleverer than this absurdist deconstruction of the familiar song. Depicted in spindly lined cartoons, Yankee Doodle and his pony debate their plans for the afternoon. When Yankee D. complains of boredom, his pony cheerfully suggests they go to town — do some shopping, buy a feather for his hat — but each idea is met with garrulous disdain. “Shopping? I hate shopping. I have too much stuff already. It’s all junk. They don’t make stuff like they used to…” And why on earth would Y. D. call his hat “macaroni,” even though, as the pony points out, the word can also mean “fancy,” when “lasagna” is so much fancier? (“Lasagna has all those little ripples in it…”) Readers will cheerfully hum their way through the giddily imagined argument and resolution, after which an author’s note outlines the possible origins and meanings of America’s goofiest ditty.

Christine M. Heppermann About Christine M. Heppermann

Christine Heppermann’s Backyard Witch: Sadie’s Story (Greenwillow), co-authored with Ron Koertge and illustrated by Deborah Marcero, will be published in July 2015.

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