A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
Each character gets smooshed, tossed, pushed, or frightened.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this parody has the classical and fun circular motif and has a dark, surreal touch. The writing is jocular, if a bit snickery.
Is It Any Good?
Never one to leave anything well enough alone, Jon Scieszka puts a tack on the chair where the nursery rhyme "The House That Jack Built" heretofore comfortably sat. Why, Scieszka seems to wonder, settle for singsong when a little mayhem enlivens the proceedings? But parody ought to choose its targets carefully, and this one sure feels underage.
Most fun here is unraveling the time-space reversals at work. Why is the baby humming a tune wearing a pie for a hat, and what got him so pumped as to toss the cow sailing over the moon? Daniel Adel's paintings are full of Rembrandt light and rich, rich color. The frames painted around the artwork give the impression of deep-dish pies, still hot and ready for the introduction of a fork.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate