Great Illustrated Books

The Cheese

By Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson

Katherine Tegen Books, 2007
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 2-6
ISBN: 9780060526306

"What a waste of a chunk of cheddar," the rat grumbles, gazing at the huge wedge of cheese down in the dell. It looks so yellow, so mellow, and so tasty. Defying the posted rules and regulations, which state, "The cheese stands alone," the rat grabs a napkin and heads down to the meadow for a nosh. On the way, and one-by-one, he is joined by the cat, the dog, the farmer's child, the farmer's wife, and finally the Farmer in the Dell, himself, who declares, "Nope. Can't eat the cheese. CHEESE STANDS ALONE. Everyone knows that." Is this rule meant to be broken? For maximum effect, stop before turning to the last page and ask your listeners what they think the rat, now standing alone with the cheddar, is going to do. Should he eat that cheese? Why or why not? Once again, parody master Palatini makes hay with her sprightly reworking of a classic nursery rhyme. The illustrations are so comic and expressive, they'll make you want to break out some cheese and crackers for an impromptu party.

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If you love this book, then try:

Child, Lauren.That Pesky Rat. Candlewick, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-1841212760

DePaola, Tomie, comp.Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose. Putnam, 1985.

Edwards, Pamela Duncan.The Neat Line: Scribbling Through Mother Goose. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0399212581

Grey, Mini.The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. Knopf, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0375836916

Krosoczka, Jarrett J.Punk Farm. Knopf, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0375824296

Lobel, Arnold.The Random House Book of Mother Goose. Random House, 1986. ISBN-13: 978-0394867991

McClements, George.Jake Gander, Storyville Detective. Hyperion, 2002. ISBN-10: 0786806621

Palatini, Margie. Moo Who? HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0060001070

Palatini, Margie. Piggie Pie. Clarion, 1995. ISBN-13: 978-0395866184

Palatini, Margie.The Web Files. Hyperion, 2001. ISBN-10: 078680419X

Scieszka, Jon.The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Viking, 1992. ISBN-13: 978-0670844876

Stevens, Janet, and Susan Stevens Crummel. And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon. Harcourt, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0152022983

Wallner, Alexandra.The Farmer in the Dell. Holiday House, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0823413829

Yolen, Jane, and Andrew Fusek Peters.Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry. Illus. by Polly Dunbar. Candlewick, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0763631413

Critics have said

The folk-art quality of the illustrations is rich with country colors���barn reds, field greens, and earthy yellows, and the cartoon animals are funny and expressive.
Susan Moorhead, School Library Journal
Best for small groups, who can view the detailed pictures up close, this will be a read-aloud hit.
Gillian Enberg, Booklist
This perspective is a bit sophisticated for Pre-K and many kindergartners, but it offers a wonderful opportunity for primary classrooms to explore and literally play with the understory of traditional songs and word plays.