A fine feline friendship tale for storytime

READ REVIEW

COPY CAT

Catty characters learn to play nice.

Two anthropomorphic cats, Bella and Anna, play together, with the former looking up to the latter and copying her every move. It’s all fun and games until they play princesses and there’s only one crown. Anna selfishly seizes it, yelling at Bella: “Stop copying me! I’m the princess. And it’s my crown!” Poor Bella is bereft when Anna flounces off, but she quickly recovers when she finds a jump-rope. Then a new cat, Chloe, comes along, and Bella says “Just copy me!” to invite her to learn how to skip rope, too. Bella’s generosity and friendliness later extend to the crowned Anna, who soon tires of playing princess by herself and joins them in jumping rope. “Just copy us!” Bella and Chloe say, and the three cats jump rope together. When Chloe has the bright idea to tie their separate ropes together, the feline friends’ play becomes truly collaborative, setting the stage for engagement in many different activities on ensuing spreads. A concluding introduction of a new friend, daredevil Dotty on a skateboard, suggests that there’s much more fun in store for all. Throughout, Pye’s digital illustrations add to the playful tone of the book, with bold colors and shapes defining the big-eyed cats and giving a retro feel to the flat visual aesthetic.

A fine feline friendship tale for storytime . (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9935-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

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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