Rarely is a full-blown temper tantrum as much fun or as instructive to witness

READ REVIEW

I'M NOT LITTLE!

A scrappy underdog has a meltdown over a short lifetime of slights but learns quickly that there are worse things than being small.

Little Shaggy is a tiny monster the size and shape of a furry car chamois. And he's got a large problem: he's had it up to here with the word "little" as it's delivered by his parents and grandparents. The word seems to define every experience of his life, from eating cereal to taking walks to reading bedtime stories. One day, Little Shaggy rages, declaring, "I am not a Little Buddy!" as he throws toys, pulls out his hair, and stomps around with his, yes, little feet. The joke turns out to be that for all his stress, Little Shaggy turns to crying mush when he's introduced to his new baby sister. "But I DON’T WANT TO BE BIG!" he wails. With skewed but lavishly detailed artwork that surrounds Shaggy's drama with cozy, domestic touchstones, the story is the perfect object lesson for any runt, pipsqueak, half-pint, or shrimp with a complex about the unfairness of life. Shaggy's expressions of annoyance, frustration, and ultimately, defiance, are expertly conveyed, and there's no skimping on the cleverness of how the L word is deployed throughout.

Rarely is a full-blown temper tantrum as much fun or as instructive to witness . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0377-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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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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