Friends build a fort and an even stronger relationship.

READ REVIEW

JASPER & OLLIE BUILD A FORT

From the Jasper & Ollie series

The mismatched pals from Jasper & Ollie (2019) are back.

Jasper, an impulsive, know-it-all fox, and chum Ollie, a deliberate sloth, decide to hold a fort-building contest. Or, rather, Jasper decides. The duo gets down to it. Jasper speedily and haphazardly slaps together a messy, precarious, dangerous-looking structure, adding to it an extra story, duct tape, and outlandish embellishments, including a moat and a self-aggrandizing statue. In contrast, Ollie gathers proper tools, consults a blueprint, then builds a fort slowly, carefully, and logically. Surprise! When Jasper’s masterpiece is revealed, it thunders to the ground, a casualty of overweight and faulty construction. Jasper’s disconsolate. The very embodiment of a great friend, Ollie consoles Jasper with an invitation into an impeccably built treehouse that, as a curtain reveals, has cozy “room for two.” In a most satisfying conclusion—and with an uncharacteristic admission—Jasper concedes that Ollie’s fort is best, though not without adding a “Jasper” to it. This is a rollicking story of two endearing friends pitted against each other in a comical non-competition, and readers, having recognized all along that this was never really a contest, will chuckle over Jasper’s raucous antics. The delightful, energetic illustrations depict Jasper’s riotous efforts on spreads and recto pages; Ollie’s labors appear on verso pages. Capitalized letters and onomatopoeic sound effects incorporated into the text heighten comedic appeal.

Friends build a fort and an even stronger relationship. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-64524-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: tomorrow

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

THE DINKY DONKEY

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more