Don’t Feed the Coos! by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Heather Fox (9781250303189)
The team behind Llama Destroys the World return with a book that’s for the birds. The book cleverly begins with the tone of Give a Mouse a Cookie but quickly turns it into a cautionary tale about feeding “coos” or pigeons. If you do feed one coo, more will come. You may try to escape, but they will follow you all the way home. No matter what you do, they will still stay with you. And because you have fed the coos, they will make coo poos. Everywhere. You will try everything to get rid of them and nothing will work. So you will accept your fate and make them part of the family. Until one day, you return with them to the park…
There is something so just right about the style of Stutzman’s writing. His tongue-in-cheek is clear but he also clearly cares about writing a superb picture book for children at the same time. That balance is not an easy one to create and sustain. Here, he pays homage to a favorite picture book style, yet also plays with it enough to break it just enough to make it fresh and interesting again.
Fox’s illustrations are bold and graphic. They use white space strategically, playing up the humor of an existence filled with pigeons and how that will change everything. The coos are adorable, until the pooing starts.
A clever and funny delight. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy provided by Henry Holt & Co.