Thursday, July 3, 2014

Crankee Doodle - A Book for Independence Day

I have a hard truth for you.  Picture books for Independence Day are not in great abundance.  Oh sure, you can find book displays with biographies of our forefathers or perhaps the sewing of the American flag, but this is not were publishers put their muscle.  

However, I am never one to leave you in the lurch.   This week in a rare turn of events, I have a picture book from one of my favorite chapter book writers, Tom Angleberger - you know him as Origami Yoda.  Sometimes when authors try different genres, their efforts are not always successful.  I am happy to report that in this case the result is a a resounding win!  

This book had my kids smiling from ear to ear.  Enjoy!

Title:       Crankee Doodle

Author:   Tom Angleberger

Target:    Preschool- Grade 3

What this book is about:
You know the song:

Yankee Doodle went to town
a-riding on a pony,
stuck a feather in his hat
and called it macaroni.

Well, if you ever thought the song was as ridiculous as most people do, then you are not alone.  Turns out Yankee Doodle was no fan of it either.  In this book we learn that he didn’t really want to go to town, he thought feathers on his hat were silly, and as for people calling it macaroni ... well he didn’t even like macaroni.  Now lasagna is a different story ....

Why I love this book:
From the author of the Origami Yoda series and Fake Mustache I would expect nothing less than silly in the best possible way!   

The beginning of this story is perfect as Yankee Doodle declares how bored he is and then proceeds to reject every idea  his horse comes up with - yes his horse.  In the book it just works.  My daughter and I go through this ritual daily (me offering up things to do and her telling me they are boring,) so we both got a great chuckle from this.  Although I realize as I write this that I am the horse in this story, but in this case the horse is very good looking and intelligent .... and creative and thoughtful! 

This book is a wonderful read aloud.  It is so easy to play the parts and kids will absolutely love it as Yankee Doodle tries to “talk sense” into the horse who continues to confound him!   Of course in the end horse gets his way, despite a giant temper tantrum from Crankee Doodle.

Who this book is for:
Great for all kids.  I would absolutely start off by presenting the original song to the kids as some of the younger ones may not be familiar with it and the best humor in the story depends on it.

Final thoughts:
I will never sing that song with the mindless abandon I once did!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Crankee Doodle  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost you.  Thank you for your support.

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