Cover image for How do you wokka-wokka?
How do you wokka-wokka?
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 x 27 cm.
Added Author:
A young boy who likes to "wokka-wokka, shimmy-shake, and shocka-shocka" gathers his neighbors together for a surprise celebration.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY BLU 0 1
Book EASY BLU 1 1

On Order



Say "HEY!" to your neighbors and get your dance on! Jazzy rhythms, silly rhymes, and welcoming images are guaranteed to entice little readers.Some days you wake up and you just gotta wokka. Wokka what? Wokka-wokka! It's about movement. It's about dance. It's about shimmy-shakin', be-boppin', and more! It's about gathering friends and joining the party. The creative team behind My Father the Dog returns with a call-and-response for preschoolers, an exuberant invitation to be part of the fun - and show your stuff!

Author Notes

Elizabeth Bluemle is the author of DOGS ON THE BED, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf, and MY FATHER THE DOG, illustrated by Randy Cecil. Elizabeth Bluemle lives in Vermont, where she co-owns The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne.

Randy Cecil is the illustrator of MY FATHER THE DOG by Elizabeth Bluemle; ONE IS A SNAIL, TEN IS A CRAB by April Pulley Sayre; and David Elliott's NEW YORK TIMES bestseller AND HERE'S TO YOU! He is also the author-illustrator of GATOR AND DUCK. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Some days you wake up/ and you just gotta wokka" says the upbeat narrator of this infectious rhyme. As the boy dances along, he and a growing entourage ask neighboring children the recurring question, "How do you wokka-wokka?" and the kids demonstrate their distinctive walks: "I wokka-wokka/ like flamingos/ in a flocka-/ croakie-yocka/ leggy-longy/ pinky-hoppa-hoppa." Cecil's cheerful city dwellers ride skateboards, play hopscotch and eat cotton candy, while dogs, cats and pigeons mill about, until the entire neighborhood has joined the boy's "wokka-wokka party." With unflappable enthusiasm, art and text underscore the message that "Nobody wokkas/ in the same wokka way." Cecil's animated oil paintings of city life are full of enough details for second and third readings. After Bluemle kicks things off with a prose intro, her rhymes, which are divided into verse- and chorus-like sections, quickly settle into a strong and catchy beat. Children will respond with glee to Bluemle and Cecil's (My Father the Dog) wacky wokka rhythms and playful language that invite each reader to "wokka in their/ own crazy way." Ages 3-5. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Some days you wake up / and you just gotta wokka . . . wammy-lammy-wotcha-hoo. / Do your funky wokka, /get your dance on. In this playful, lively read, a young boy asks kids in his city neighborhood, How do you wokka-wokka? and he receives creative responses. A basketball-playing youth replies, I wokka-wokka like a clock go ticka-tocka, and, with a headstand and posed limbs, mimics a clock's hour-hands placement. A jump-roping girl pauses to lie on her belly, waving feet and hands like a fish flop on a dock-a. As kids progressively join in, it becomes a party on the blocka that brings families together in the street. The peppy prose incorporates wordplay, repetition, and bouncy sounds, and it periodically invites listeners to participate and wokka in your own way. The colorful, detailed oil paintings show energetic children, in varying skin hues, in their urban neighborhood of brownstones and street vendors. An exuberant read-aloud that will get kids moving.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2009 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-In an infectious burst of movement, rhythm, and rhyme, a multiethnic cast of children in an urban neighborhood strut their stuff and celebrate their uniqueness. In answer to the call, "How do you wokka-wokka?," the youngsters demonstrate their moves-a flamingo, a mariachi, a clock, a fish-all to the sound of giddy nonsense rhymes and exuberant dancing ("I wokka-wokka/like flamingos/in a flocka-/croakie-yocka/leggy-longy/pinky-hoppa-hoppa"). The sketchy, full-color oil illustrations in muted colors feature cartoon children cavorting alternately against stark white backgrounds or cityscapes as they join a giant block party. This bouncy book is a joy as a read-aloud whether in a group or one-on-one, and kids and adults won't be able to resist making their own nonsense rhymes and dances as they "wokka-wokka" through the book.-Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A little boy bounds out of his house because "[s]ome days you wake up and you just gotta wokka / Say "HEY!' to your neighbors up and down the blocka / wammy-lammy-wotcha-hoo. Do your funky wokka, get your dance on." The exuberant boy walks down the street asking other kids, "How do you wokka-wokka?" One by one, the kids describe and demonstrate their unique wokka styles and then join in the parade of dancers continuing down the street to the block party at its end. The singsong, nonsensical, rhyme-riddled text vacillates between catchy and awkward, breaking its rhythm at times in a way that may throw readers off. Cecil's oil illustrations depict a multiethnic cast of dancing children set against a plain white backdrop and the occasional city streetscape. The paintings are wonderful, but considerably more subdued than this celebration of movement and language calls for. Not a must-have, though the right storyteller could get the preschool crowd dreaming up their own version of the wokka-wokka. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.