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The Story of Kitten Cuckoo    by Ed Baker order for
Story of Kitten Cuckoo
by Ed Baker
Order:  USA  Can
Centro, 2007 (2007)
*   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This is a book about an unlikely friendship between a kitten (named Cuckoo) and an elephant named Paquile E. Derm, and the lengths friends will go for each other. Cuckoo lives with a reporter named Harrison Cruz, though he likes to hang around the zoo. He meets the elephant and they form a bond, despite being different species.

What they have in common isn't made clear, but the other zoo animals mock their friendship: 'A kitten belongs with cats, an elephant with a herd. / To see you together is completely absurd.' After escaping to San Francisco with Cuckoo, Paquile ends up being captured and taken to an African wildlife preserve. Cuckoo tracks down his friend eventually, and is coincidentally reunited with Harrison Cruz, with whom he had lost touch.

The story is written in verse, which makes it appropriate to be read aloud. Frequently, though, the rhythm is a little off, which makes it frustrating for the one doing the reading, although children may not notice. Also, some of the rhymes do not truly rhyme. For example: 'Laughing and spent and looking to sleep, / they curled up together on the side of a street.' The book has potential, but the storyline didn't flow and a lot of details were left unexplained. My favorite part were its simple but colorful illustrations.

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