Reviews for April Foolishness
Booklist Reviews 2004 November #2
/*Starred Review*/ K-Gr. 2. The writer and illustrator of Farm Flu (2001) join forces for a new farm story. This one celebrates April Fool's Day with a suitable "gotcha" ending and plenty of fun along the way. Visiting their grandparents' farm, two children take turns running indoors to tell their grandpa of a string of catastrophes: the cows are loose, the pigs broke the gate, the goats are stampeding. Grandpa greets each revelation with remarkable equanimity and continues to fix his breakfast. When he confides to Grandma that the kids' news bulletins are April foolery, she tells him that April Fool's Day is tomorrow, setting him up to fall for their pranks. Though picture-book creators are often warned against writing in rhymed couplets--and for good reason--Bateman's verse prances along in a pleasing way, never sounding a false note or tripping over its metric feet. Bright with colorful washes, Westcott's ink drawings illustrate the action with equal lightness and grace. Older children may observe parallels between the children's tales and Grandpa's actions. When told that the pigs are loose, he reaches for the bacon. Hearing of the sheep's escape, he pulls on his wool sweater. Zany and inventive, the artwork amplifies the story's humor. A great choice for storytime on April Fool's Day or anytime. ((Reviewed November 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
It's April Fools' Day on the farm--or is it? A rollicking, rhyming text and Westcott's comic illustrations match the silliness of this story that has chickens running amuck and goats destroying the wash, at least according to the grandkids. But Grandpa isn't fooled--until Grandma manages to trick him and gets the last laugh. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2004 October #1
Grandpa's no chump. The grandchildren have come to the farm for the day and they hurtle through the door with all manner of wild news: The cows are loose! The pigs are in the tomatoes! The sheep are eating the neighbor's lawn! "Grandpa, oh, Grandpa! / The goats are all freed! / They're running around / in a smelly stampede!" But Grandpa knows that it's April 1st and he isn't biting, except on a little bacon after he hears about the pig, and an egg after he hears about the hens. Both Bateman and Westcott keep pace with all this: the text alternately hysterical and deadpan, the artwork aflurry one moment and placid the next. When Grandma notes to Grandpa that it isn't April Fools' Day until tomorrow, he heads out the door as if he's been goosed. Grandma triumphs: it really is the fool's day. Okay, so Grandpa is a chump. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 December #3
The pair behind Farm Flu returns to the barnyard for another heapin' helpin' of monkeyshines. It's April Fool's Day, but who's fooling whom? With tight, energetic couplets, Bateman gives voice to the visiting grandkids (aided and abetted by Grandma, it turns out) as they try to convince Grandpa that the farm is in chaos. In their scenario, first the chickens fly the coop, then the runaway pigs use the tomato patch for a food fight and finally, "Grandpa, oh, Grandpa!/ The sheep are all gone!/ I heard that they're munching/ on somebody's lawn!" Westcott, game as ever for upping the ante of any silly scene, comically imagines the renegade grazing but also throws in a pair of sheep who've gone way beyond that-they've commandeered lawn chairs, and one of them grooves to an iPod. Grandpa refuses to rise to the April Fool's bait until his wife delivers the coup de grace: "You'll find, to your sorrow,/ it's not April Fools' Day today,/ but tomorrow!" Of course, everything is normal, and Grandpa realizes that despite his best efforts, he has been busted-big-time. A closing image proves that the group is not mean-spirited but just engaging in a bit of fun. The book's double-edged joke (Grandpa won't be fooled, and so he's more foolish) and the fact that kids love the idea of adult-sanctioned mischievousness makes this a surefire giggle-inducer. Ages 5-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 November
K-Gr 2-Family pranks highlight the gentle, teasing relationships in this amusing tale. Grandpa thinks he's wise to his grandchildren's April Fools' Day tricks and ignores their warnings of animals run amok. According to the children, cows, chickens, goats, and sheep are running wild in a glorious celebration of freedom while calm, collected Grandpa methodically cooks his breakfast. Grandma joins in with a hoax of her own to cap the morning. Cartoon artwork closely follows the action as the disarray grows, drawing readers into Grandpa's imagination and disbelief. Bold watercolors, punctuated by ink detail, frame the animals' frolic as described in the rhyming verse. Wake up a storytime about farm life or save this one for April foolishness.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.