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“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” More
Summary: Elston, the Rooster, decides to make himself a donkey like Ernest, because all of the other barnyard animals complain about his early-morning crowing. When Elston takes that last step and stifles his cockle-doodle-doo, he learns how much the animals truly value him! This is an animal story with an easily absorbed lesson about being true to yourself.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Started reading at 3½-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: S/He loved crowing just like Elston, and thought it was funny to watch Elston try to become a donkey.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a sweet story with great illustrations. The dialogue, when reading it aloud, can get tedious, but all in all, it's a nice read.
Pros: This is a positive story that you can come back to at different points, as its deeper meaning will show itself as a child gets older.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a story that will grow with your child. Toddlers will like the story and imitating animals; new readers will have plenty of repetition for practicing their skills.
Educational Themes: For younger readers, there is plenty of opportunity for object identification and introducing farm life. For older readers, it's a great jumping-off-point for talking about personal value and talents.
Notes: Mom's Choice Awards Winner 2005 (Seal of Approval)
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, animal characters, life lessons