Friday, October 28, 2011

Long, Ethan. The Croaky Pokey.

Long, Ethan. The Croaky Pokey.
Holiday House 2011 14.95
Animal stories VG

Hokey Pokey becomes Croaky Pokey when frogs, toads, an egret and an alligator all try to catch a pesky fly for dinner. Song lyrics are aptly illustrated and creatively depicted in this pictorial version of the famous song. As children sing the Hokey Pokey song, instrument-playing frogs rock in the bog. Children will delight in singing along and watching as one of the frogs sticks out his very long tongue while trying to snatch a fly from the sky. The frog fails, and a hungry toad next tries to catch that fly. All kinds of water creatures join in as one frog does the Croaky Pokey, and all meet with failure. Frustration on the alligator’s face is sure to please youngsters, and as the story moves to the “backside”, we see alligator, frog, turtle, egret swishing their backsides to the tune. “Snap!” Every mouth in the bog snaps shut, missing that pesky fly! The final pages of this book show all of the frogs snapping frantically for the illusive fly, and all become entangled in their tongues as a fish jumps forward to catch his dinner!
The pictures are so good that text is not needed! One can envision a resourceful teacher of literacy using this book to teach sight vocabulary and easy song words. Another idea might be to play the Hokey Pokey version and compare it to the Croaky Pokey! Books that entertain young readers abound, so what will make someone buy this one? The facial expressions of the animals combine with the clever way that the author teaches body parts and left from right with a timeless classic to make this book a good choice for the early learner.
This book is a good choice for nursery and elementary schools. The pairing of illustrations and music is both entertaining and educational as it has been proven that music helps children to remember what they are learning. Squaresky, Martha

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