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EDDIE AND DOG

A sweet choice for dog lovers, active children or anyone searching for a friend.

This effervescent boy-and-dog tale is worth making some room on the shelf.

The tale begins at the airport, where Eddie dreams of adventure. A white dog emerges from the carrier on the luggage carousel and introduces himself, and the adventures begin. Armed with sticks, boxes and their imaginations, they hunt for crocodiles and sail the seven seas. Eddie’s mother, being a more practical type, decides the dog cannot stay as they don’t have a big yard. Three times she sends the dog away, and three times he returns, riding up on a motor scooter, snorkeling along the shore and parachuting from an airplane. Will they be parted yet again? With warm illustrations, Brown focuses on Eddie and the dog, allowing the frame to chop off Eddie’s mom’s head, like the adults in a Peanuts cartoon. And there lies the crux of the story—the difference between being practical and passionate, between thinking with the head and playing with the heart. Children will see a warm story of a great dog and a red-haired little boy who have found a perfect friendship. Adults, if they listen closely, may see beyond the inconvenient realities of having a creative, active and persistent child. Unexpected adventures have their own unique rewards, like the glow of true happiness on an imaginative boy’s face.

A sweet choice for dog lovers, active children or anyone searching for a friend. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62370-114-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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THE WONKY DONKEY

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. 28, 2018

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