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03 July 2014

Review: Crankee Doodle by Tom Angelberger

Product Details 
Image and Summary from Amazon:
“Yankee Doodle went to town / a-riding on a pony / stuck a feather in his hat / and called it macaroni.” Many know the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” but few understand it. This unapologetically silly picture book reveals that the legendary ride to town (and the whole macaroni thing) was all suggested by Mr. Doodle’s overeager pony. This just makes Mr. Doodle cranky: “I do not want macaroni. I do not want a feather. I do not want any other clothing, any other pasta, or any other parts of a bird. I do not want anything that they have in town!” A historical note ends this colorful, comical take on a nonsensical old song.

This standard really has never made any sense.  Why would Yankee Doodle call the feather in his hat macaroni?  I understand the riding a pony part, I understand the sticking a feather in his hat bit.  But naming it, and naming it after a delicious cheese-covered pasta?  Odd.  Of course, now I realize that in 18th century England, the term "macaroni" was slang for "fancy", but still.  Even that doesn't really make sense.  

This hilarious book, as told from the pony's and a cranky Yankee Doodle's perspectives, gives a better explanation for the song.  

Cece Bell's hilarious illustrations only add to the story.  

And a shameless plug, this book is on the 2014-2015 Virginia Reader's Choice Primary Book List.  You should check it, and the Elementary, Middle and YA lists as well. 

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