Teresa Bateman is the author of many books for children, including The Bully Blockers Club and April Foolishness. She is a children's librarian and lives in Washington state. Nadine Bernard Westcott has illustrated more than eighty books for children. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and one cat.
K-Gr 3-Author Teresa Bateman narrates this lighthearted iconographic version of the book (Albert Whitman & Co., 2004), told in lilting rhyme, in which two children visit their grandparents' farm on April Fools Day. As grandpa calmly prepares a hearty breakfast, the children repeatedly interrupt with alarming accounts of the animals. "But Grandpa, the pigs broke the gate./They're in the tomatoes./Oh hurry, don't wait!" Observant viewers will notice that each animal catastrophe is linked to what the old man is doing. When the cows are loose, he pours his milk; when the chickens are out, he fries some eggs. He cooks bacon when the pigs escape, slices goat cheese when the goats are freed, and dons a wool sweater when the sheep disappear. The youngsters can't get a rise out of their smug grandfather who knows just what day it is. Or does he? When Grandma breaks the news that the first of the month is actually tomorrow, he turns red and dashes out the door. As he leaves, she playfully hollers "April Fool!" and sits down to enjoy his breakfast. In the second segment, "Sharing My Story," Bateman explains that she got the idea for the book from her large prank-loving family. The author, also a school librarian, shares some jokes her students have tried, like "I dropped my book in the toilet" or "the book shelves are falling down." This section highlights some of the book's hilarious watercolor illustrations by Nadine Bernard Westcott such as the sheep sipping lemonade and listening to headphones on lounge chairs. Country guitars add to the charm. Children can write and illustrate their own April Fool's school pranks, recalling the author's caution to "have fun, but remember, pranks are only fun if everyone's laughing!"-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The pair behind Farm Flu returns to the barnyard for another heapin' helpin' of monkeyshines. It's April Fool's Day, but who's fooling whom? With tight, energetic couplets, Bateman gives voice to the visiting grandkids (aided and abetted by Grandma, it turns out) as they try to convince Grandpa that the farm is in chaos. In their scenario, first the chickens fly the coop, then the runaway pigs use the tomato patch for a food fight and finally, "Grandpa, oh, Grandpa!/ The sheep are all gone!/ I heard that they're munching/ on somebody's lawn!" Westcott, game as ever for upping the ante of any silly scene, comically imagines the renegade grazing but also throws in a pair of sheep who've gone way beyond that-they've commandeered lawn chairs, and one of them grooves to an iPod. Grandpa refuses to rise to the April Fool's bait until his wife delivers the coup de grace: "You'll find, to your sorrow,/ it's not April Fools' Day today,/ but tomorrow!" Of course, everything is normal, and Grandpa realizes that despite his best efforts, he has been busted-big-time. A closing image proves that the group is not mean-spirited but just engaging in a bit of fun. The book's double-edged joke (Grandpa won't be fooled, and so he's more foolish) and the fact that kids love the idea of adult-sanctioned mischievousness makes this a surefire giggle-inducer. Ages 5-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Both Bateman and Westcott keep pace with all this: the text alternately hysterical and deadpan, the artwork aflurry one moment and placid the next."--Kirkus Reviews
"Family pranks highlight the gentle, teasing relationships in this amusing tale...Cartoon artwork closely follows the action as the disarray grows, drawing readers into Grandpa's imagination and disbelief. Bold watercolors, punctuated by ink detail, frame the animals' frolic as described in the rhyming verse. Wake up a storytime about farm life or save this one for April foolishness."--School Library Journal
"The pair behind Farm Flu returns to the barnyard for another heapin' helpin' of monkeyshines...A closing image proves that the group is not mean-spirited but just engaging in a bit of fun. The book's double-edged joke (Grandpa won't be fooled, and so he's more foolish) and the fact that kids love the idea of adult-sanctioned mischievousness makes this a surefire giggle-inducer."--Publishers Weekly
STARRED REVIEW! "Zany and inventive, the artwork amplifies the story's humor. A great storyhour choice for April Fool's Day or just about any other day."--Booklist starred review
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2005
Booklist Editors' Choice 2004
2007-2008 Volunteer State Master List
Winner, 2006-2007 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award