A bland episode, though likely to leave more-reflective readers wondering when the puppies will be coming along.



From the Ruby and Grub series

New neighbors Ruby and Billy make friends fairly easily, but their dogs suffer the pangs of love in this cozy import.

Ruby’s stated dislike of boys doesn’t keep her from meeting with Billy over the fence about the strange behavior of their respective dogs, Grub and Tilly. Droopy Grub whines and just stares at his food. “Grub’s in love,” says Ruby’s mom. “He’s pining.” Likewise Tilly, who will only touch “cheese and crusty bread” according to Billy (“I think Tilly might be French,” comments Ruby parochially). A picnic provides the perfect solution: the two dogs gleefully chase each other out of sight—their trail taking the shape of a heart over the park’s green expanse—and by the time they’re back in view “Grub’s tail was wagging the most I’ve ever seen.” Ahem. Next morning Grub eats his food, digs happily in the garden, and at Ruby’s offer of another picnic, jumps on her for “the BIGGEST, messiest hug ever!” A few instances of doggy gloom aside, both the human figures and the spaniel-eared canine ones bear wispy smiles in Warburton’s vivacious watercolor scenes.

A bland episode, though likely to leave more-reflective readers wondering when the puppies will be coming along. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0134-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


Bet you can’t make this goose smile, no matter how hard you try.

TV personality Kimmel’s first foray into picture books presents a feathered grump with a scowl that is proof against any kind of foolery: Try putting a chicken on her head, dressing her as a moose, or even trucking in a snail pizza—this goose won’t crack. Breaking now and again into verse, he challenges readers to give it a try in a foil mirror: “Cluck like a chicken / moo like a cow / be doofy, be goofy / any way you know how”—and sure enough, eventually a grin bursts out to replace the grimace despite a multipage struggle to hold it in, and off prances the goose in a pair of (gender-bending) tighty whities. Yes, she’s become “a SILLY goose (thanks to you),” the narrator proclaims, and what’s more, “YOU are a silly kid.” A hand-lettered narrative in block printing big enough to take up most of the space accompanies thick-lined cartoon views of a goosey glare that dares readers to crank up the volume, and the last page turn reveals a final tweak that may add a few grown-up voices to the younger chorus of giggles.

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-70775-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet