Reviews for Croaky Pokey!

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Some pond frogs take turns doing the hokey pokey, updating the popular participatory song's chorus ("Hop the Croaky Pokey / As we chase a fly around, / Right in the froggy's mouth!"). The joke is that each frog's attempt to catch a fly fails. The cute-enough concept, paired with frog-festooned cartoon illustrations, manages to keep the book afloat. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 February #2
As implied by the title, the Hokey Pokey takes on a decidedly amphibian tone in this sprightly, cheerful selection, which is filled to the brim with kid appeal. As the song begins, children are invited to join the frogs and follow the traditional lyrics and movements ("Put your right hand in, / Put your right hand out") until they've waved said appendage all about, but then the words change: "Hop the Croaky Pokey / As we chase a fly around, / Right in the froggy's mouth! / WHAP!" Lively, cartoonish illustrations feature animals at a pond, including a number of frogs (in a delightful variety of greens), none of whom, it turns out, is particularly skilled at catching bugs. As the song continues, hilarity ensues as the blissfully ignorant target fly remains just out of reach, despite all the frogs' best efforts. But luck like this can't possibly last forever—can it? Children will giggle throughout, especially at the surprise ending, and will be singing and dancing along in seconds flat. A nice choice for school and home and a good choice for reluctant readers, full of energy, humor and fun. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 January #5

What looks like a mild-mannered, amphibian-themed variation on the birthday party favorite turns out to be a nifty little comedy about best-laid plans. Inspired by a tasty-looking dragonfly, a group of frogs decides to perform their own version of the Hokey Pokey. The first part of the song is familiar ("Put your right hand in..."), but each verse is intended to end with a snack: "Hop the Croaky Pokey/ As we chase a fly around,/ Right in the froggy's mouth!/ Whap!") The problem is, not a single member of the froggy chorus can catch the fly. Consternation and frustration build as a gator and an egret join in, with equally unimpressive results, and everyone ends up tangled in sticky tongues--everyone, that is, except for a sly fish. Long (One Drowsy Dragon) has a gift for conveying manic, obsessive personalities (he's a master of the googly eye), and he has found a great match in a song of relentless, rote cheeriness. The Hokey Pokey will never look the same--and that's a good thing. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March

PreS-Gr 1--Long's version of the traditional song features frogs sitting on a riverbank and on lily pads, eyeing a fly enticingly near. They put their various body parts in and out, waving them about and singing "Hop the Croaky Pokey/As we chase a fly around,/Right in the froggy's mouth!" One frog after another shoots out a bubble-gum pink tongue, but the smiling fly evades them. Frogs play trumpet, trombone, and harmonica as an alligator, a stork, and a turtle join the game. Spreads show the unsuccessful "WHAP!" of the frogs and the "Snap!" of the alligator and stork. Their expressions change from pleasant anticipation to exasperation as the fly circles blissfully out of reach. After putting their whole bodies in, they all try to get the fly, tying themselves up with their own tongues. A savvy fish leaps out of the water and gets it, "Right in the fishy's mouth!" which--as everyone knows--is what it's all about. Long's energetic illustrations are done in watercolor and colored pencil, and their cartoonish style adds to the fun. Pair this picture book with Lisa Wheeler's Hokey Pokey (Little, Brown, 2006) for an upbeat storytime.--Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN

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