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The Cheese

by Margie Palatini
Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Published by Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins, 2007
32 pages
ISBN: 0-06-052630-0

Ages 6-9

“The cheese stands alone.” Those familiar final words of “The Farmer in the Dell” open Margie Palatini’s rollicking picture book, appearing on a posted notice beneath the words “Rules and Regulations.” “What a waste of a chunk of cheddar,” laments the rat. Palatini’s twist on the traditional nursery song is a hilarious unraveling of the order of things. Deciding some rules and regulations are made to be broken, the rat heads to the dell intent on feasting. The cat, immediately suspicious, accuses him of “scurrying and sneaking.” Proclaiming innocence, the rat is thwarted by the napkin around his neck. The cat soon concludes, “You know. I believe you may be correct. That cheese should not stand alone.” It doesn’t take long for the dog, the child, the mother (wife), and the farmer himself to agree: no cheese, especially a cheese as large and tasty as the one in the dell, should stand alone. In fact, not only shouldn’t it stand alone, it shouldn’t be eaten alone either. Crackers anyone?  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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