A rhyming invitation for adults and children to read together.


A daughter finishes each one of her father’s sentences as the two pink pigs go through their shared day.

“When I say ‘ready,’ you say ‘go.’ / When I say ‘slower,’ you say ‘no.’ ” Each sentence is illustrated with two vignettes apiece. The first shows the two on their respective bikes (dad’s pulling a basket behind) and then dad’s surprised face and some motion lines and clouds. In the second, readers see dad puffing along, and then his daughter takes his place on his bike, pulling him in the basket. From waking up in the morning, making breakfast, and getting dressed to picnicking, playing, and going through the evening routine, much of what this duo does will be familiar to readers. Coburn’s tweaking of the punctuation in the speech bubbles that reiterate the dialogue within the vignettes adds some nice variety to what could quickly become repetitive. “When I say ‘time to,’ you say ‘dress.’ / When I say ‘this one,’ you say ‘yes’ ” first shows the dad holding up a pair of jeans and the girl sticking out her tongue in protest: “dress!” The second shows dad rooting around in her drawer while she shyly peeks around the dresser: “dress?” And her enthusiastic “yes” on the opposite page is accompanied by some accessorizing of the white, pleated dress. White backgrounds keep the focus on the anthropomorphic porcine pair and the joy they feel in spending time together.

A rhyming invitation for adults and children to read together. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0174-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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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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