A wonderfully silly story about being true to yourself.


It takes a lot of sass to make “piranhas” and “bananas” rhyme, and Blabey’s book is full of that sass.

Who would guess that a piranha loves fruit? But Brian does. When he tries to tempt other piranhas to try a banana, they turn him down cold. “Well, how about some silverbeet?” Brian asks. “Are you serious, Brian? We eat feet,” they reply. “Or would you rather a bowl of peas?” “Stop it, Brian. We eat knees.” Children will readily guess what the other piranhas reply when Brian asks if they’d like some nice, ripe plums. But Brian keeps trying, ultimately offering the other fish “an awesome fruit platter.” They gobble it up in a typical piranha frenzy, and a hopeful Brian asks, “Is it yucky or yum?” While they admit “It’s very nice,” they enthusiastically proclaim, “But we still prefer bum!” The loose, rhyming back and forth between Brian and the other piranhas make this a fun read-aloud guaranteed to generate giggles and requests to “read it again.” Illustrations, just as sassy as the text, spotlight bright, lantern-jawed avocado-green fish and colorful fruit that pop against a stark white background. And the piranhas’ facial expressions? Priceless. Don’t miss the endpapers for serious and not-so-serious information about piranhas and bananas.

A wonderfully silly story about being true to yourself. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-29713-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.


Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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