Everyone knows that Yankee Doodle went to town, but he's never made his journey quite like this! At the start of this zany book, Yankee Doodle clutches a feather and rides wildly down a country lane, shouting "Macaroni!" Meanwhile, waddling ducks run for their lives. Cows, pigs and bunnies stand agape, wondering what just passed.

This is yet another entry in Little, Brown's "Sing-Along Stories" series, whose titles include The Lady with the Alligator Purse, Miss Mary Mack, Skip to My Lou, and more. The books appear simple, but let me attest that they have topped the charts in our house. Yankee Doodle features a page of music and lyrics, then the "story," and ends with activity suggestions (name all the words in the song that rhyme with "doodle," or organize your own parade, etc.). The text features silly new lyrics that go with the original tune. As Yankee Doodle and his pony careen down the road, they pick up a girl with a pink polka dot dress, her poodle, a toad, and a rooster. Eventually the crew opens a restaurant, appropriately called "Yankee Doodle's Noodles," where all of these companions help run the show ("Toad and pony were the cooks/The waiter was the poodle").

A great big cock-a-doodle-doo for Nadine Bernard Westcott's whimsical, colorful illustrations. The relatively simple faces of her animals and characters are remarkably expressive. Check out Westcott's poodle, for instance, as a rooster lands on his back ouch! She also adds plenty of fun small touches, such as the menu noting that dessert is "more macaroni and cheese." I guarantee that read-aloud readers will be sing-along singers with this book in hand. Just think of the Yankee Doodle tune while reading the following: "Oh, how they ate! They cleaned each plate!/They gulped and gobbled oodles!/They'd never munched so fine a lunch,/Especially the noodles." No doubt a generation of young readers will think that Mary Ann Hoberman's new rendition of Yankee Doodle represents the real lyrics.

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