From Publishers Weekly
Bateman's (The Ring of Truth) sweetly silly rhyming tale of mounting chaos triggered by good intentions inspires Westcott's (Skip to My Lou) menagerie of familiar animals to mimic some over-the-top human behavior. Tending the farm while his mother is away, the boy narrator hears the dairy cow sneeze, "Ka-Chooo!... I'd never helped a sickly cow," he says, adding, in what becomes the book's refrain, "But I knew what my mom would do/ if it were me who had the flu." He puts the guernsey to bedAliterallyAbut soon finds he has an epidemic on his hands. The next day, as he notes a donkey gorging on chocolate donuts and a pig listening to a Walkman, it dawns on the boy that there is a corollary to the example set by his mother: coddling has its limits. "Too sick to be outside, I see,/ Then you're too sick to watch TV!/ No toys, no games, just stay in bed./ No popcornA/ you'll have mush instead!" The boy restores order, but finds that he, too, has come down with the flu. On the last page, the animals kindly minister to him. Westcott's drawings lack the loopy looseness that characterizes her best works, and the book's squarish format cramps the expansiveness of her visual whimsy. But enough fun and folly burst from these pages to make this a literary chicken soup for any young, temporary invalid. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A humorous rhyming story that's as much fun to look at as it is to read. Mom leaves the farm in her son's hands for the day and while she is gone, the animals all come down with the flu. Caring for the sick creatures in the manner that he knows his mother would care for him, the boy puts the cow to bed, complete with tissues and alfalfa tea; "popped the piglets in the tub/and gave them all a belly rub"; and makes popcorn for the donkey. And when the animals begin having too much fun being sick, the child removes their TV, toys, games, and popcorn, just as his mother would do, resulting in an instant cure. Westcott's lively illustrations add comedic touches throughout. The turkey working the TV remote control and the chickens sipping from juice boxes are sure to elicit giggles. Great fun for reading aloud.-Kathy M. Newby, Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, Russiaville, IN
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.