Humorous, action-packed pictures combine with terse text to create an engaging cautionary tale about greed.

IT'S MY SAUSAGE

Five hungry cats vie for one “yummy, scrummy sausage.”

With a limited autumnal color palette, the cats and the owner’s home are realized in rough but expressive fashion. The text is short, with many onomatopoeic sounds and easy words enabling children to read much of it themselves. The five cats are distinct in color and variously accessorized, allowing readers to distinguish them and assign gender as they choose. The plot essentially consists of the golden-haired cat’s titular assertion of ownership and defense of the meat product as each of the other four attempts to steal it in various slapstick schemes. Astute viewers will notice a spotted, brown shape in the corner of a scene showing a living-room floor littered with mouse traps and Lego blocks with yarn tangled all about. These are all booby traps for the four cats trying to steal the sausage, wrapped with a small string, from under its protective dome. The black cat springs into action, makes it through the minefield, and almost gets the sausage only to have it yanked away by the gold cat once again. The greedy kitty prepares to gobble the treat down but is stormed by the others, causing the sausage to bounce out of the cat’s mouth and go right in the open mouth of—a large brown, spotted dog.

Humorous, action-packed pictures combine with terse text to create an engaging cautionary tale about greed. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84886-473-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Maverick Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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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

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