FOXY AND EGG

With expert comic timing, Smith sets vulpine Foxy DuBois up for a tasty turnabout after a mouthwatering guest comes to visit. When a small polka-dot egg appears on her doorstep, Foxy invites him in (“for a BITE to eat”) and then dashes off to the kitchen to contemplate the culinary possibilities. But why settle for just a snack? After whipping up a massive meal of fattening desserts (“Egg wobbled with excitement”) Foxy beds Egg down, then retires to a night of eggy dreams in anticipation of a yummy breakfast. Breezily leaving it to viewers to pick up on the absurdity of a faceless Egg capable of happily chatting and chowing down with his salivating hostess, the author/illustrator adds a pinch of melodrama by staging the tête-à-tête in a Victorian-style house stocked with poultry-themed knickknacks, embellishes Foxy’s dreamscape with a leggy feathered chorus line and finally dishes up a double whammy the following morning in the form of a hugely swollen Egg that hatches out—well, not quite the entrée Foxy had in mind. The photo-collaged illustrations will remind many of Lauren Child, but the humor is distinct, enhanced by a cinematic introduction that reveals that the part of Egg is played by newcomer Edward L’Oeuf, with Vivien Vixen as Foxy DuBois. Delicious, for all that it’s something of a literary hors d’oeuvre. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2330-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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

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THE SERIOUS GOOSE

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

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