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Cover image for Oink-a-doodle-moo
First edition.
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2012]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 29 cm
In a barnyard, a pig whispers into a rooster's ear, starting a game of "telephone" that goes horribly awry.
Reading Level:
Ages 3-6.


Call Number
JP Czekaj

On Order



Psst, listen up.
Are you ready?


Now you say it back. . . .

A barnyard game of telephone goes wildly wrong in this hilarious picture book that demands to be read out loud.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this funny barnyard game of Telephone, a pig whispers to a rooster: "I have a secret. Oink. Pass it on." The rooster flits across the field and tells the cow, "Oink-a-doodle-doo. Pass it on." As the message makes the rounds, each animal adds a sound of its own. The unlucky dog at the end of the chain races back to the pig and struggles to remember, "Hee-haw-oink-ba a-quack-caw-ribbit-hiss-neigh-meow-moo-hoo-squeak." When the pooch admits defeat ("Oink-a-...Um, uh. Ribbit-quack...hiss-something-something-moo....I can't do it"), the pig is reassuring: "Don't worry...we'll just start over!" Czekaj's digitally colored cartoon characters have big, expressive eyes and lots of personality as they dash across the pages with focused intent. This circular tale offers plenty of laughs, and children will love to join in on the wacky string of animal sounds. A great storytime choice....Pass it on.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Hip and Hop Don't Stop! and Yes, Yes, Yaul! Czekaj has made clear his affinity for old-school hip-hop. He dials the entertainment back even further in this barnyard tale, which is propelled by an old-fashioned game of telephone. "I have a secret," a bubble-gum pink pig whispers, hoof to mouth, to a blank-eyed rooster: "Oink. Pass it on." The rooster, in turn, relays an "Oink-a-doodle-doo" to a cow, whose "Oink-a-doodle-moo" becomes a frog's "Oink-a-ribbit-moo," and so on. Czekaj's (Cat Secrets) cartoon animals race around the farm wearing determined expressions that contrast comically with the absurdity of the message they are delivering, and when a cat asks a hapless dog to pass on "Hee-haw-oink-baa-quack-caw-ribbit- hiss-neigh-meow-moo-hoo-squeak," the dog gulps. He runs helter-skelter to the pig and, with an embarrassed, hangdog look, eventually confesses, "I can't do it." The book's ending becomes its beginning as the pig says, "Don't worry... we'll just start over!" Czekaj wrings an impressive amount of humor from a simple conceit; the story will likely have children ready to play telephone (or just make some animal noises). Ages 3-6. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

After a barnyard pig starts a game of telephone ("Oink") with a rooster, it adds its own embellishment ("Oink-a-doodle-doo"), and so on until a poor dog is stuck with . . . well, it's too good (and long) to give away here. Animal noises, wild misunderstandings, cartoony art featuring clueless-looking critters--this is certified comedy gold for the preschool set. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Warning: This book will make children want to play the telephone game all day long. "I have a secret," the pig says. He leans in close, so the chicken can hear him. "Oink," he whispers. "Pass it on." Alert readers will already see where this is going. Fifteen pages later, the message is much longer. "Are you sure you're ready?" the cat asks the dog. The cat, looking just a tiny bit panicked, says, "Hee-haw-oink-baa-quack-caw-ribbit-hiss-neigh-meow-moo-hoo-squeak. Pass it on." This is a book to read more than once. That's not because it's difficult to follow, but readers might miss details like the tiny sound effects of the animals' feet the first couple of times through. The chicken goes flit flit. The cow goes galump galump. And on the last few pages of the book, when everything has gone horribly awry, the pig has a wonderful look of delight on his face. Czekaj has drawn him with just a hint of mischief in his eyes. "Don't worry" he says"we'll just start over." A biographical note says that the author "is a cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator, and underground DJ." It makes him sound a little subversive. His animals have just as much personality. Get ready for many, ever-sillier rereadings. (Picture book. 3-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

New York Review of Books Review

Wilbur and Babe aside, pigs aren't known for their cuddly disposition. But Gal ("Into the Outdoors," "Night Lights") depicts them so convincingly as family-oriented creatures that, after following them through a day full of activity (building a house, planting a garden, making friends, other porcine pursuits), it's no surprise to find them tucking in family-bed style for the night. Gal's richly textured oil crayon and collage illustrations are dense with activity. But when the pigs curl up with copies of "Charlotte's Web" and "The Three Little Pigs," readers will be ready to snuggle in beside them. I KNOW A WEE PIGGY By Kim Norman. Illustrated by Henry Cole. 32 pp. Dial. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 3 to 5) "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" is like a pest that refuses to go away. Yet no matter the iteration - whether it's a monster swallowing a spider or a spinster swallowing books - children seem to gobble it up. Happily, Norman's variation offers enough of a tweak on the formula for parents to be entertained too. Here the pig wallows rather than swallows as he tramps through the colors of a county fair. He's covered in pink cotton candy, coated in green grass stains, caught up in a grandmother's purple scarf. He retains his adorable pink snout underneath all the mess. OINK-A-DOODLE-MOO Written and illustrated by Jef Czekaj. 32 pp. Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins Publishers. $16.99. Picture book; ages 3 to 6) The old-school game of telephone is always good for a grade-school laugh, and setting the classic pastime in a barnyard practically guarantees one. Naturally, a piglet starts everything. "Psst," he calls to a nearby rooster, passing along his secret: "Oink." The birdbrained rooster quite naturally screws it up, telling a cow, "Oink-a-doodle-doo," and urging her to pass it along. Even a 3-year-old can see where this is heading. Czekaj has a cartoony Nickelodeon style that spurs the cow's galumps into animated action in a sequence of events mat's made for reading and laughing aloud. PASS IT ON! By Marilyn Sadler. Illustrated by Michael Slack. 40 pp. Blue Apple. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Who knew pigs were such telephone fanatics? Or bees, cows and dogs for that matter - all of them equally apt to get everything wrong. In this rendition of barnyard telephone, events are spurred into motion when a cow gets stuck on a fence (by her rump; it's that kind of book). When Bee tells Frog to pass the news along, the frog senselessly alters the message: "Cow put a duck in the tent Pass it on!" he tells a bewildered pig. Each message is escalated into greater heights - or depths - of absurdity, gleefully depicted in Slack's retro Tibor Gergely-style illustrations. In me end, Pig helps set things right. OLYMPIG! Written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. 32 pp. Dial $16.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9) Boomer is excited to compete in the Animal Olympics. Never mind that he's me first pig ever to do so. Never mind that he doesn't exactly look athletic. Never mind that his grandfather is annoyed at having to miss "Days of Our Swine" to witness the event For Boomer, it's all about "hard work and practice." If only. Boomer proceeds to lose every contest and all that optimism ends in a piggish temper tantrum Luckily, there's one more event: gymnastics. Not all stories have happy endings, and not everyone can win at everything. Boomer, at least isn't a sore loser. PAMELA PAUL ONLINE A slide show of this week's illustrated books at nytimes.com/books.