Froodle by Antoinette Portis
I love Antoinette Portis. She takes such simple concepts and makes them so fun and memorable. Remember Not a Box? It brought back all the nostalgia of being a kid and my mom making up a cool house with windows and a chimney/skylight out of the box our refrigerator came in.
In Froodle, the simple concept is that animals make the same sound all the time. Cats meow, dogs woof. The different birds all have their same songs... until one day Little Brown Bird decides to say something new. "Froodle spoodle!" he shouts! I really like the panel after that, because it's a two-page spread of a big black crow glaring at her.
Pretty soon the other birds catch on and start making up songs of their own. Crow gets pretty mad and takes off. The orientation of the book changes too (a two-page spread stands up long-ways). With all the silly things they start saying, this is a pretty fun read-aloud. Froodle is about being silly, accepting change, and getting along with friends. It's definitely a keeper!
I really like the style this book is drawn in. It's much more colorful than the Not a Box and Not a Stick books, and no less imaginative. What other silly things could the birds say? This book could also spark a discussion about how animals sound different in various cultures/languages. Did you know in Japan the cat isn't described as "meow meow"? The sound is "nyaa nyaa". You can find lots of other animal sound descriptions here.
You can also check out this video from BBC Worldwide of the amazing lyre bird. It can copy all kinds of sounds, even the human voice! What is kind of sad is sometimes the last thing they hear is the sound of chainsaws cutting down the trees in their habitat... yes, they make that sound, too.