‘Cuckoo!’ offers an unexpected look at understanding

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CuckooCUCKOO!” by Fiona Roberton, Putnam, Feb. 27, 2014, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 3-5)

What happens if you’re different than the family you hatch into? That’s the problem a little bird faces when he learns he doesn’t speak the same language as the rest of the birds in his nest. “Cuckoo!” follows this bird’s journey to find someone who can understand him.

“Cuckoo!” is a sweet, simple book. It’s fun to see this little bird try and learn other animals’ languages, and the book’s unexpected ending proves if you look hard enough, you can find someone who understands you perfectly.

If you’ve read Fiona Robertson’s “The Perfect Pet” or “The Perfect Present” then “Cuckoo!” will have a familiar feel. Even some beloved characters make an appearance.

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him.

When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.*

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*Synopsis provided by Putnam

Editor’s note: The above post differs from Cracking the Cover’s regular review format. Learn more.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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