Children’s Book Author
Lori Degman
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All rights reserved. Site content copyright © Lori Degman, 2010-2015, copyright © for art Colin Jack, Deborah Zemke & Marco Bucci.  Site Design Lori Degman.

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Kirkus Reviews - June, 2010

"A fearless fox filches keys, and crazy creatures stir up all kinds of mischief. While waiting in line for the zoo to open, a little boy sneaks in, just in time to see the zookeeper’s keys being snatched. He follows the fox, who lets all the animals out of their cages. Then... “2 sporty zebras in goggles and flippers / were snipping the walruses’ whiskers with clippers.” An array of further animal antics unfolds in bouncy verse (full of phonetic Seussian crunch) amid equally antic pictures. There are “4 anxious elephants” packing their trunks but stopped by skunks; “6 groovy ’roos” tapping their shoes, along with hyenas singing rhythm and blues; fickle leopards, pompous peacocks, clever chimps and so on join in the mayhem all the way up to ten. Degman’s verse is bright—this text won the Cheerios New Author Contest—and animator Jack’s digitally produced creatures, both animal and human, are pleasingly Bill Peet–esque. Crackling good fun."  

Kirkus Reviews - February, 2014

Zemke provides more farmyard huggermugger (George Shannon’s Wise Acres,2004) to illustrate Degman’s versified tale of animals trying to substitute at sunrise for an absent rooster.                                                                                                                            Deciding that he needs a week at the beach to catch up on his sleep, Rooster enlists fellow livestock to crow each morning to wake Farmer McPeeper while he’s gone. But despite the best efforts of Sheep (“Her cock-a-doodle baaaaaaaa / didn’t travel too faaa. / In fact, she made barely a peep”), Cow (“udder disaster!”) and the rest, McPeeper sleeps on. Looking properly popeyed and panicky in the cartoon scenes, the other animals welcome Rooster back at last—only to learn that he’s caught a cold and can barely wheeze. As in her prizewinning light verse for 1 Zany Zoo (illustrated by Colin Jack, 2010), the author displays a gift for rhymes and language that is clever rather than forced. She also skips the obvious (trite) solution of a general hullabaloo and just has Rooster leave a whispered “cock-a-doodle-doo” on McPeeper’s bedside phone—a technology assist that displays pleasing ingenuity. Farmer McPeeper wakes up, feeling like he’s slept for a week…which he has.                      Puns and foolery pitched just right for newly independent readers. (Early reader. 5-7)

Kirkus Reviews - June, 2016

The expression "when pigs fly" is given a new twist as Norbert the pig dreams of swimming--not in just any pond, lake, or ocean, but the English Channel.  Norbert trains day after day and dreams night after night until he feels ready.  . . . Bucci employs visible, broad brushstrokes and vivid colors to define the images and create a glossy patina. The technique is somewhat unusual, lending an eye-popping energy. While most kids will not know (or possibly even care about) the English Channel, they will find Norbert's antics to get there mildly humorous, and they will appreciate his friends' affectionate indulgence.  The message of dreaming big is secondary to the storyline, but Norbert is no stick-in-the-mud.”

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Illinois Reads 2020