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REGGIE

PENGUIN IN CHARGE

From the Reggie series , Vol. 2

Affectionately encapsulates the creative energy and challenges of childhood.

In this collection of comics, a persistent young penguin has problems aplenty.

Reggie's having a tough go of things. He’s got a high-tech toy with too many tiny parts. He finds blowing bubbles to be a wet, slimy, unpredictable experience. His fish makes a less-than-impressive showing at the pet talent show. And he struggles with releasing the butterflies he’s nurtured since caterpillarhood in his classroom. Thankfully, Reggie is resilient. Each challenge is an opportunity to put a positive spin on a tricky situation. The high-tech toy provides a bevy of accessories with which to adorn his favorite stuffed animal, while a sack race gone off course ends in a surprising win. In the book's final tale, Reggie’s role as butterfly monitor gives school days a poignant purpose; even when it comes time to say goodbye to his fluttering charges, Reggie vows to always remain “on duty." While charting Reggie’s emotional growth, de Oliveira’s cartoon illustrations also revel in his rather hectic settings: a veritable riot of quirky pets at the talent show, a gloriously chaotic childhood bedroom. Familiar friends and teachers from the series’ first book also populate each scene, allowing readers to easily re-immerse themselves in Reggie’s bustling, vibrant corner of the world.

Affectionately encapsulates the creative energy and challenges of childhood. (Graphic early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9780759557581

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown Ink

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2018

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