- Don't Feed the Coos! by Jonathan Stutzman
Stutzman, Jonathan Don't Feed the Coos!; illus.by Heather Fox. Holt, 2020 [48p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-250-30318-9 $17.99 Reviewed from galleys R 3-7 yrs
Yes, with their wide, innocent eyes and cute little wings, the pigeon-like coos are most definitely adorable, but you should probably heed our unseen narrator's instruction and avoid giving them a treat. If you do, well, prepare for your life to be utterly ruined: they'll follow you home, to orchestra practice, to the arcade, to karate lessons; wherever you are, there they will be, and there, also, will they poo. A lot. And no, you will not be able to escape them, so you may as well just accept it, name them, knit them scarves, and make them part of your family. While the coos are more aggressive than the mouse from the classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the sequence of events here is just as silly, and readers with a love for potty humor (who will most certainly be rhyming coo with poo even before the book does) will appreciate the scatological comedy. The humor has more than one note, though; the surprised, exasperated, and ultimately resigned expressions of our child protagonist (who makes the unfortunate mistake of feeding the coos) are giggleworthy, and a clever ending sees her finding a new guardian for the coos. Fox's graphic, stylized art is similar to her work in Llama Destroys the World (BCCB 5/19), with the off-kilter geometric shapes and bold colors reined in by clear compositions and focus. This could obviously be paired with Willem's Pigeon's antics, or it might also partner Winstanley's How to Give a Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps (BCCB 12/18) for a silly primer on the dos and don'ts of animal caretaking.