“Cock-A-Doodle-Oops!,” by Lori Degman, illustrated by Deborah Zemke, Creston Books, 36 pages, $16.95.


A cocky rooster takes his occupation seriously. After all he is in charge of the rising sun.

But even an important rooster needs a vacation so he recruits volunteers. No. Substitutes. Now he is on his way to the Florida beaches.

Like any conscientious CEO, Rooster leaves daily plans on his day planner for his replacement.

Most important is waking up heavy sleeper, Farmer McPeeper.

Pig, Sheep, Chicken, Mule and Goat take turns, each assigned a day, thinking there is not much to the assignment.

Even Cow tries her best but she is an “udder” failure. Owl doesn’t do any better. Everyone knows owls hoot better at night.

Rooster returns to hear that McPeeper has slept for a week. Worst of all, Rooster has a bad case of bronchitis.

Even with the use of the farmer’s cellphone, Rooster’s voice came out as only a squeak.

What to do? When McPeeper saw how ill Rooster was, he had the perfect solution, a surprising delight.

The clever word play of this circle story in a rhyme pattern trips off the tongue easily creating a wonderful read-aloud.

Deborah Zemke’s big-eyed farm animals’ faces mirror their concerns, but each portrays a pleasant willingness to help out.

JoAn Watson Martin is an educator.

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