The Bowlegged Rooster: And Other Tales That Signify

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9780060253776: The Bowlegged Rooster: And Other Tales That Signify

Every bird who has a feather
Must learn to live
To live together

After baby rooster takes his first steppity-step-step out of the eggshell, he has so much to discover. There's Grandpa Goose's funeral and Bald-headed Buzzard dunking himself in the river, hoping for some feathers. Not to mention Crow's big wedding and a Christmas party with presents and good wishes for everyone. Life in the barnyard sure is more than just steppity-step-strut-strutting around!

National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Thomas brings us five high-spirited and playful tales that signify the important events in life: birth, death, baptism, marriage, and of course, rejoicing. Full of whimsical characters, The Bowlegged Rooster is a celebration of life's discoveries and turning points.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 5-These five short stories set in Possum Neck, MS, center around proud Papa Rooster and his chick. In "The Bald-Headed Buzzard," the animals all learn a lesson about appearances, and in "Christmas in the Barnyard," father and son get a special surprise from their friends. Although the plots are not always terrifically involving, the animals' personalities and the bustling atmosphere of the barnyard make these tales appealing. Thomas's lively language features colorful phrasing and the characters express themselves with joy and verve, often breaking out in little songs and chants. Baby Rooster's birth in the first chapter comes to life with his father's bragging, Lizard's fiddle playing, and a chorus of bullfrogs that celebrate the event. The creatures that interact in these yarns are often foolish, but also endearing, and convey a strong sense of community. Full-page pencil illustrations add to the fun. Though a good choice for independent readers, this collection really sparkles when read aloud. Papa Rooster and his neighbors have much in common with the avian characters from Virginia Hamilton's When Birds Could Talk and Bats Could Sing (Scholastic, 1996), though the stories here are simpler.
Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 2-5. Signifying, as Thomas defines it, means animals being used to remind people of what it is to be human. In these five original tales, written in traditional storytelling fashion, the vivacious, opinionated birds of Possum Neck, Mississippi (Bowlegged Rooster, Bald-headed Buzzard, Baby Rooster, and others), mirror human foibles and strengths. Bald-headed Buzzard envies Baby Rooster's full-feathered pate, but he discovers his baldness has some advantages: he has no feathers to get in the way of cleaning up the roads. At Grandpa Goose's funeral, Buzzard, Crow, and Papa Rooster make such a ruckus over who is to deliver the eulogy, they almost miss Baby Rooster's wee peep about a simple solution. The lighthearted mood is extended by snippets of poetry and word repetition, which make the tales a joy to hear as well as to read. Holly Berry's whimsical artwork makes the signifying all the more fun. Shelley Townsend-Hudson
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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