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Book review: 'Crankee Doodle' went to town in a new children's book

"Crankee Doodle" is a picture that play on the song "Yankee Doodle."
"Crankee Doodle" is a picture that play on the song "Yankee Doodle."
Clarion Books

"CRANKEE DOODLE," by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Cece Bell, Clarion, $16.99 (f) (ages 4-6)

Silly but fun, the colorful new children's storybook "Crankee Doodle" is a clever one. But you really need to have sung the song "Yankee Doodle" to get most of the humor and to appreciate the pony's perspective.

Why would someone who is bored want to go to town, go shopping and/or stick a feather in one's hat and call it macaroni? (After all, lasagna noodles are much fancier pasta shapes.)

Why, why, why?

The pictures by Cece Bell are bright and appealing. The text is lyrical, written by the author of the best-selling "Origami Yoda" series for middle-graders, Tom Angleberger.

There's kind of a "Green Eggs and Ham" feel to the story, if you've read Dr. Seuss. Youngsters who can read will be able to pick this up and go right through it.

It's simple. The crabbing from the man being visited by the pony is actually a series of little litanies against just about everything. Very young readers and children won't get it. Readers unfamiliar with the song won't see the humor.

Test it on your child before buying.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at