Those who have enjoyed Pig’s other adventures in badness will likely love this one, and the obviously frequent mentions of...

PIG THE STINKER

From the Pig the Pug series

Pig loves things that stink…including himself.

“Pig liked to get dirty. / He frankly was RANK. / His paws could be frightful. / His fur often stank.” Pig rolls in garbage and spoiled milk; he even plays with poo! He’s not offended by smells—not even by his wiener-dog buddy’s butt! Calls for bathtime make him run, and he’s very good at escaping, evading, and hiding. He sneaks away and jams a rubber-bone toy up the bathtub spigot. Then, being the nasty scamp that he is, he boogies with glee right in the tub, taunting his owner—until the plumbing explodes, bonking him in the nose with the faucet. From then on he doesn’t balk at bathtime…but that doesn’t change the fact that he often stinks to high heaven. Pig returns from his native Australia (where the book was titled Pig the Grub) to teach another lesson by setting a bad example. Blabey’s gleefully rancid creation scampers across the pages covered in (and liberally spreading) green and brown goo, and his pong is as visible as his owner’s face is not. With his bulging eyes and general nastiness, Pig is definitely an acquired taste; that this is his fifth outing is ample proof that many have done so.

Those who have enjoyed Pig’s other adventures in badness will likely love this one, and the obviously frequent mentions of things potty-related will recruit new fans. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33754-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A forgettable tale.

THE LITTLEST REINDEER

Dot, the smallest reindeer at the North Pole, is too little to fly with the reindeer team on Christmas Eve, but she helps Santa in a different, unexpected way.

Dot is distressed because she can’t jump and fly like the other, bigger reindeer. Her family members encourage her and help her practice her skills, and her mother tells her, “There’s always next year.” Dot’s elf friend, Oliver, encourages her and spends time playing with her, doing things that Dot can do well, such as building a snowman and chasing their friend Yeti (who looks like a fuzzy, white gumdrop). On Christmas Eve, Santa and the reindeer team take off with their overloaded sleigh. Only Dot notices one small present that’s fallen in the snow, and she successfully leaps into the departing sleigh with the gift. This climactic flying leap into the sleigh is not adequately illustrated, as Dot is shown just starting to leap and then already in the sleigh. A saccharine conclusion notes that being little can sometimes be great and that “having a friend by your side makes anything possible.” The story is pleasant but predictable, with an improbably easy solution to Dot’s problem. Illustrations in a muted palette are similarly pleasant but predictable, with a greeting-card flavor that lacks originality. The elf characters include boys, girls, and adults; all the elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus are white.

A forgettable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-15738-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

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. 29, 2018

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