Review of Froodle, by Antoinette Portis


by Antoinette Portis

A Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press), New York, 2014. 32 pages.
Starred Review

I just got back from a vacation in Oregon, where I stayed in the home of my sister and her toddler daughter Alyssa, who is learning to talk and make animal sounds and all those good things. When I read this book, I so wished I could read it to Alyssa! I will have to settle for a Preschool Storytime. Now, it will go over best with kids who already know their animal sounds, so they will know how silly this book is. But no matter what the age, you will certainly find kids repeating the silly, jazzy words.

Here’s the story: All the animals and birds in a particular neighborhood make the normal, expected animal sounds. Until one day, out of the blue, little brown bird decides she wants to sing something new, maybe something silly, like “Froodle sproodle.”

The other birds are upset, especially the biggest bird, Crow. But before long, more silliness slips out, and it begins to spread. Cardinal says, “Ickle zickle! Pickle trickle!” And next thing you know, even the peace-making dove has joined in with “Oobly snoobly!”

Little Brown Bird, Cardinal and Dove continue singing jazzy songs together, until even Crow can’t resist. The neighborhood will never be the same.

What makes this book so fun is that the sayings are admittedly silly. Crow even gives his reason for participating as “Everyone knows there is no such thing as a silly black crow.” But the sayings are also jazzy and catchy, and I’m guessing that kids who hear this book read will be no more able than Crow to resist joining in.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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  1. So, I got it from the library a couple days ago. She hasn’t outwardly reacted a ton, especially at first she was just taking it all in, with the occasional grin. But she likes it! I think I read it to her about ten times yesterday (and it would’ve been more if I hadn’t limited individual sessions to just a couple times each), and one of her requests was something like, “The funny book with the birdies.”

    (The OTHER library books, on the other hand, are chopped liver. 😀 )

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