Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger

I don’t remember whether I saw Crankee Doodle on Goodreads or on Amazon, but as soon as I saw it, I knew that my girls would love it. One of the songs that the Kindergarten children sing at the Memorial Day concert is Yankee Doodle, and it has been a favorite around the house before and after the concert.

Crankee Doodle is a picture book written by Tom Angleberger and illustrated by Cece Bell. The premise of the book is simple: a smiling pony wants to go to town, and a cranky man in colonial garb refuses to go. He complains about not wanting new things, and that the quality of the items in town is not the same. The pony wheedles and begs, but the man doesn’t listen. The pony makes sly allusions to a feather in a hat being “macaroni” (fancy), but this only makes the man even crankier. Can the pony convince his human friend that going to town is worthwhile?

The illustrations are very silly. Bell uses a rather simple style that comes across as playful and fun. The backgrounds are relatively simple; the characters spend most of the book sitting on a grassy field with just a blue sky behind them.

I also would like to mention that my oldest daughter loves Tom Angleberger’s middle grade Origami Yoda books, and she recently read Cece Bell’s graphic novel El Deafo, and loved that too. When she found out that they had collaborated on this book, she was very excited. When she found out that two of her favorite authors were married, she was even more excited.

I would recommend Crankee Doodle. This book is wonderful for children as young as preschool, and even children in the early years of elementary school will appreciate the silly humor. My three girls laughed and laughed, and then they sang Yankee Doodle. I’m very pleased to have discovered this silly little book!

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