QUENTIN BLAKE is Britain's leading illustrator, and was chosen as the first Children's Laureate.
A daft professor and his frustrated cockatoos take part in a zany game of hide-and-seek sure to tickle sharp-eyed readers. Professor Dupont never strays from his regimented daily routine--from tying his tie to adjusting his glasses to greeting his pets by saying ``Good morning, my fine feathered friends!'' Deciding they will ``go crazy if they had to listen to the same words once again,'' the birds take refuge in various rooms in the house to teach their owner a lesson. Kids will love spotting the colorful plumage behind every corner and cushion--easily visible to everyone but the hapless professor, who stumbles about in humorous ignorance searching for his avian companions. (The birds' frantic expressions as they desperately attempt to remain hidden are positively smashing.) Convinced their message has been delivered, the satisfied birds are back on their branches the next morning, only to discover that ``Some people never learn.'' Blake's characteristically effusive drawings enhance the silliness of this thoroughly engaging ditty. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
PreS-Gr 2-- Blake's cockatoos have flown from his ABC (Knopf, 1989), where they represent the letter C, to a book of their own that gradually emerges as a counting book. Ten of these multicolored birds live in a leafy conservatory in the home of Professor Dupont. To say that the professor is a man of routine is an understatement; not only does he do the same awakening chores in the same order each day, but he also gives an identical greeting to his cockatoos--``Good morning, my fine feathered friends!'' One day they become so annoyed by this repetition that they escape from the conservatory and hide throughout the man's large house. They elude him, but, if readers look closely at the scratchy, funny watercolor double-page spreads, it is apparent that they have not gone far. The busy, detailed illustrations complement the text, showing Dupont's puzzled search. This is a book that will be enjoyed most by a child who reads it alone or shares it with a friend. --Carolyn Jenks, formerly at Oyster River Elementary School, Durham, NH
For pure fun, read again - and again - Quentin Blake's masterly
Cockatoos -- Gwynneth Bailey * TES *
A wonderfully enjoyable story * Daily Mail *
Must be the funniest and subtles counting book, so funny you can't count anyway. Irresistibly daft, devastatingly droll * Guardian *
There has never been, and probably never will be, a counting book as funny and delightful as this * Books for your Children *