Cover image for Cook-a-doodle-doo!
Stevens, Janet.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 29 cm
With the questionable help of his friends, Big Brown Rooster manages to bake a strawberry shortcake which would have pleased his great-grandmother, Little Red Hen.
Reading Level:
AD 420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.7 0.5 34653.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 19758 Guided reading level: N.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Central Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Central Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Central Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clearfield Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Collins Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Niagara Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Delavan Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Niagara Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Anna M. Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Big Brown Rooster is sick of chicken feed. So along with his friends--Turtle, Iguana, and Potbellied Pig--he sets out to make the most magnificent strawberry shortcake in the whole wide world. But there's one problem: none of his friends knows how to cook! The team bravely forges ahead, and with Rooster's help, they learn how to measure flour (not with a ruler) and how to beat an egg (not with a baseball bat). But can they keep Pig from gobbling up all the ingredients? Take an old family recipe, add four funny friends, and mix in some hilarious cooking confusion and you have a picture book treat for children of all ages!

Author Notes

Janet Stevens is the author and illustrator of many beloved picture books, including Tops & Bottoms, a Caldecott Honor Book. With her sister and co-author, Susan Stevens Crummel, she created the acclaimed best-sellers The Great Fuzz Frenzy, Help Me, Mr. Mutt!, The Little Red Pen and more. She is also the illustrator of the Epossumondas books, written by renowned storyteller Coleen Salley. Janet Stevens lives in Colorado. Visit her online at Susan Stevens Crummel has collaborated with Janet Stevens, her sister, on several picture books, including the The Little Red Pen; Help Me, Mr. Mutt!, Texas Bluebonnet winner Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!; and the Texas Bluebonnet nominee And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon. A former teacher, she now writes children's books and makes author appearances at schools full-time. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Visit her online at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Part careful recipe, part wild farce, this gloriously illustrated picture book brings the farmyard into the kitchen with parody and puns and nonsense slapstick that kids will love. Big Brown Rooster is sick of chicken feed. Inspired by his famous great-grandmother, Little Red Hen, he finds her recipe for strawberry shortcake. At first, no one will help ("Not I," said Dog); but then Turtle, Iguana, and Potbellied Pig are only too eager to join Rooster in the kitchen. Turtle can read; Iguana (with a striped oven mitt on his head) can get stuff; Pig is dying to taste; they are a team. The first ingredient is flour (Iguana dashes outside and picks a petunia). When the recipe says "sift," Iguana dives into the flour. Measure the flour: Iguana grabs a ruler. Beat the egg: he picks up a baseball bat. Each time, Rooster restores order ("No, no, no"), then does it right. With the main story and each hilarious, mouthwatering double-page picture of pandemonium, there is a quiet sidebar in small type that explains what recipes are, what ingredients are, what measuring and baking means, and how to make a strawberry shortcake, step by step. The luscious illustrations on hand-made paper are beautifully drawn and deliciously textured, in brilliant shades of red strawberry, brown cake, and creamy filling. The full recipe is printed on the last page, and kids will want to join the team, get in the messy kitchen, follow the directions, and eat that cake. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stevens (Tops and Bottoms) and her sister cook up a boisterous romp as four animal friends set out to bake a strawberry shortcake. Rooster, tired of pecking for chicken feed, remembers that his famous great-grandmother (the Little Red Hen) wrote a cookbook, and in it he finds the recipe. Turtle, Iguana and Pig volunteer to help. If left solely to the text, the rest of the comedy-cum-cookery lesson would be fairly predictable: Turtle, reading the recipe, announces they need flour and Iguana rushes outside to pick a petunia; asked to beat an egg, Iguana hoists a baseball bat. (Handsomely illustrated sidebars explain most of the directions in depth.) Rooster sets Iguana straight while Pig keeps wanting to taste everything in sight. The illustrations, however, are startling in their pop-off-the-page dimensionality. In her characteristic style, Stevens mixes media, seamlessly combining paints, photos and computer art to witty effect; readers will want to look very closely to determine what's from real life and what's from a palette. Wearing their silly chef's hats (an inverted saucepan, an oven mitt, a kitchen towel and an apron), the four animals create a whirlwind of activity on every spread. Presiding adults should note that the strawberry shortcake recipe at the end is not as foolproof as the story would imply, even with the information in the sidebars; kids, enthused by the kitchen frolics depicted here, will surely want to attempt it. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Humor is the chief ingredient in this entertaining tale. Big Brown Rooster is hungry for new flavors and seeks out his great-grandmother's cookbook (the Little Red Hen's appropriately titled The Joy of Cooking Alone). In this case, however, Rooster does manage to find some animals that agree to help him. The confused efforts of inept Iguana, greedy Pig, and patient Turtle are amusing, as are Stevenson's slightly skewed representations of familiar objects (Land o' Pond's butter, a T-REX measuring cup). Against all odds, the end result looks delicious, but clumsy Iguana drops the strawberry shortcake on the floor and Pig quickly gobbles it up. Luckily, Rooster is patient, quite determined, and, it turns out, generous. When the four friends create another beautiful cake, even the animals that chose not to participate are invited to enjoy the feast. The basic premise of the story gives it the feel of a fractured fairy tale, and the mix of friendship, fun, and food will satisfy the appetites of most readers. Whether they will take the time to read the sidebars that explain baking terms and techniques-or try the featured recipe-is less clear. Luckily, it's easy enough to skip over the sidebars; and, in fact, doing so makes the story flow more smoothly. The mixed-media illustrations are drawn on paper made from such ingredients as flour, flowers, eggshells, and even baking powder, giving the book added flavor.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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