From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-This vibrantly illustrated adaptation of a traditional story describes how loyalty can triumph over adversity. A poor elderly man has only his beloved rooster for company. One day, however, he speaks harshly to him, and the bird leaves "not knowing or caring where he went." He finds a small purse of coins but a greedy nobleman steals it. The rooster runs after the rich man, who tries to drown, burn, starve, and trample the rooster, but the fowl keeps finding a way out of each situation, growing larger as he swallows his enemy's treasure and cattle. The rooster finally regains the coin purse. He returns to the old man, who greets him with joy, and the two live richly, and happily ever after. The fast-paced action and a repeated refrain ("Cucurigu, my great lord!/Give back the pennies you stole") will grab readers' attention. The language flows smoothly and reads aloud well. The large folk-art paintings, done in watercolors and colored pencils, depict brightly clothed characters, detailed backdrops, and a hero who grows in stature along with his deeds.-Janet M. Bair, Trumbull Library, CT
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PreS-Gr. 2. Adapting her tale from a Romanian story by Ion Creanga, Rascol tells about a small, brave rooster, driven from the farmyard, who grows powerful as he defeats an evil nobleman and brings riches back home to the poor farmer. The greedy nobleman tries everything to get rid of the pesky upstart. He throws the rooster down a well, but the rooster drinks all the water and flies out. He tosses the bird in a fiery oven, but the rooster spews out all the water he drank and puts out the flames. The rooster swallows coins, and he swallows the barnyard animals. Finally, he brings everything home to make the poor farmer rich. The standoffs, chases, and the refrain ("What could the rooster do?") are great for storytellers, and the clear, dramatic, very bright pictures in folk-art style, showing the small creature swelling up until he fills the double-page spread, can be used with a small group. Children will appreciate the farmyard farce about the small, noisy creature who refuses to be intimidated in a giant world. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved