Though the story is on the bland side, the illustrations show that Regordosa has real promise.



When wild dreams threaten, it’s Sir Muffin Muffinsson to the rescue!

Fluffy white cat Sir Muffin always keeps a watch over white human baby Emma in her crib. One night seven Dustrats (one for each day Emma’s room has gone without tidying) pop out from beneath the skirt of her bed. Sir Muffin grabs his vacuum and chases after the Dustrats before they can make a mess of the whole house. “Monday’s Dustrat is gobbling up delicious cookies in the kitchen. / Crumbs everywhere!” Suddenly the room is overtaken by penguins and polar bears—Emma’s dreams are taking over. Tuesday’s Dustrat is napping in an enchanted forest in the living room. Wednesday’s is in a castle besieged by a dragon in the attic! Sir Muffin catches each Dustrat, but in the meantime, Emma’s dreams have gotten out of control. Can Sir Muffin save her? Not alone he can’t! Readers of Regordosa’s tale of steadfast pussycat Sir Muffin are likely to find that the occasional tinny-sounding, old-fashioned exclamations (“Lo!”; “Zounds!”) fall flat, unjustified by the story. The detailed and trippy illustrations are the real stars here, especially the adorable Dustrats, who clothe themselves in discarded socks. The seek-and-find game inherent in each themed double-page spread of dreamlike wackiness will entertain.

Though the story is on the bland side, the illustrations show that Regordosa has real promise. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-57687-821-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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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. 29, 2018

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.


Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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