• 2017 Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of the Year
• 2017 Kirkus Best Books of the Year
• 2017 School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
• 2017 Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of the Year
• 2017 Amazon Best Books of the Year
• 2017 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids and Teens
• 2017 Chicago Public Library Best Books of the Year
• 2017 Huffington Post Best Picture Books of the Year
• 2017 USA Today Journal Sentinel Choice of New Books for Children and Teens
• 2017 Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great New Books for Kids
• 2017 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children Honor Book
• 2017 Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Awards (Finalist) Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book – English
• 2017-2018 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers’ Award Master List (Grades K-2)
• 2017-2018 Connecticut Charter Oak Children's Book Award (Nomination)
• 2017 GA Books All Georgians Should Read (master list) for Children and Teens
• 2017 World of Words Book of the Month
• 2017 Nerdy Book Club Best Books of the Year
• 2017 CCBC Librarians Book of the Week
• 2018 Golden Kite Honor Book
• 2018 Action Book Club Selection


Korean, Chinese, Spanish


Starred ReviewSTARRED REVIEW “Deedy's original tale about standing up to oppression couldn't be more timely. Yelchin's saturated, folksy, mixed-media paintings are the perfect partner, fleshing out the characterizations and offering visual humor. This subtle, modern multicultural tale is a must have: "Kee-kee-ree-KEE!" Indeed!”


Starred ReviewSTARRED REVIEW “Yelchin amplifies themes of protest and injustice in vivid mixed-media caricatures that emphasize the rooster’s humble nobility in contrast to Don Pepe’s sneering autocratic airs. Like the gallito’s cries of “kee-kee-ree-kee!” Deedy’s message about speaking up and speaking out rings as clearly as a bell.”

–Publishers Weekly

Starred ReviewSTARRED REVIEW “Lively art captures the flavor of the story—both its humor and its more sobering points. The characters’ faces and postures flash with fear, anger, frustration, stubbornness, and joy. Bright hues and busy page layouts reflect a boisterous La Paz but fade to dull blues and open space when Don Pepe comes into power. Following the narrative arc, the color and energy return with the gallito’s arrival and resistance.”

—The Horn Book

“… perfect for a rowdy read-aloud. Illustrator Eugene Yelchin’s vibrant folk-art illustration expresses this cheerful proliferation of sound and activity in bright, silly, nearly chaotic profusion. Whether it’s a spirited child or a determined teen, every family has its own noisy rooster: insistent, persistent, exasperating at times, and with a song that must be sung — and should be heard.”

—The Washington Post

“This rollicking original tale develops themes of oppressive governance and squelched identity within a fanciful scenario… Art, both folkloric and quirky, captures details of life with and without music. Further, caricature nails the tyrant at the top, an archetypal bully. Author Deedy is Cuban American, and illustrator Yelchin a Russian émigré. Perhaps drawing from personal experiences with dictatorship, they relay a pleasant yarn with greater purpose — to honor freedom and inspire us to resist being censored and silenced.”

—San Francisco Chronicle

“… a battle of wills in which the foolhardy mayor attacks the rooster with threats and bodily harm — all to no avail in a book that reminds us to stay strong and band together when we believe in a cause. Bright, colorful paintings by Eugene Yelchin add just the right touch to this meaningful book.

—The Missourian

“Rendered in oil pastel, colored pencil, gouache, and acrylic, Yelchin gives himself over to a crazy cacophony of color when he draws the noisy world of the little village. His Don Pepe is perfect, a slickster in a pinstripe suit, thin little mustache, and sickly pallor. To my mind, the image of the teakettle holding its breath while the sneaky little eyes of Don Pepe peep over the windowsill is nothing less than perfection incarnate. As for his rooster, that joyful bird isn’t just the standard red and orange. His coat of many colors involves blue, green, pink, scarlet, and so much more. When he stands in pure defiance of Don Pepe’s will, look at the placement of his feet. As any dancer or master of martial arts would tell you, that is the stance of someone who is standing strong and is not going to be knocked down (literally or figuratively). As Don Pepe descends into desperation and madness (brilliantly captured by Yelchin) the rooster changes not a jot. He may be the one being put through trials and tribulations, but ultimately he isn’t the one running for the door.”

—Elizabeth Bird for School Library Journal Blog

“Yelchin’s expressive, saturated illustrations, rendered in oil pastels, colored pencils, gouache, and acrylics, are both funny and stirring. This is a book to crow about, especially now.”

—Julie Danielson for Kirkus

“Told with a storyteller’s flair, the narrative reads like a folktale, while Yelchin’s mixed-media illustrations are vibrant and perfectly suit the text. VERDICT A fun read-aloud for any library, especially ones looking for stories with Hispanic influence."

–School Library Journal

“Bright, humorous and wonderfully expressive mixed-media paintings by Eugene Yelchin.”

—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“This isn’t a simple story about speaking out against power, but rather one that illuminates the complex dynamics that allow for a culture of oppression and the struggle to be heard despite this. Perhaps, what most captivates me about this book are the many entry points it provides for thoughtful and critical discussion and the ways we can’t help but consider ourselves in the context of this town. …each page pushes me to question what my own actions and reactions would be. What role have I played in allowing something unjust to continue? How do I stay vigilant so that something so outrageous ceases to feel “normal?” What is the breaking point for each of us? What do we each need to feel supported in singing our song and being heard? Could I sing alone in the dark? I look forward to using this book with our students–young and old–to hear the questions they wrestle with and the songs they can’t help but sing in response.”

—World of Words

“Engaging, repeating rhythms and mixed-media illustrations highlight the visual-based humor.”

—Literacy Central

“This powerful story is about the importance of speaking your truth to power.  Bright and bold illustrations create an atmosphere of fun as the underlying message quietly waits to be heard.”

—A book and a Hug

“Yelchin’s bright, colorful mixed-media illustrations, including seven full-page paintings, and three double spreads with only the word Kee-kee-ree-KEE, wonderfully complement and enhance Deedy’s tale, and breathe life into the village of La Paz.”

—Wander, Ponder, Write

The story is inspiring. The art is exceptional.”

—Picture Book Builders

“A delightfully told story is an entertaining and accessible allegory about the importance of speaking up, and sometimes resisting authority. Colorful mixed media illustrations with a comic edge provide a vibrant backdrop for the language- and idea-rich story.”

—Cooperative Children’s Book Center

“The brave rooster serves as a stand-in the millions of freedom-seeking people all over the world throughout history who endured deprivation, imprisonment, and torture – many of them paying the ultimate price – to express themselves and to make it possible for others to speak. Yelchin’s bright mixed-media paintings contrast the lively rooster with the villainous mayor whose human characteristics (for instance, turning green with indigestion at the endless crowing) foreshadow his humiliation at the hands of the people who first granted him the power to terrify and silence.”

—The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children’s Literature