LET ME HELP!/¡QUIERO AYUDAR!

Like a young child eager to help, Perico, the parrot, is excited about the upcoming Cinco de Mayo preparations and repeatedly cries, “Let me help! / ¡Quiero ayudar!”—a phrase learned from his family’s youngest child, Martita. So whatever the activity—as Abuela and Tía Lupe make tamales, Elena and mother fashion paper flowers, Lupita and Carmen prepare for the folklórico dance, Antonio and Francisco practice their mariachi piece and Don Martín bakes pan dulce—Perico’s offer to help is either ignored or actively rebuffed by the very busy family. What can a parrot really do to help? Once the celebration begins, Perico flies across the city watching the festivities, and when his family’s extravagantly decorated barge loses its top-most decoration as it passes under the bridge, Perico perches on top with wings spread wide to replace the fallen flowers as the barge continues elegantly down the river. Domínguez’s vigorous paint strokes in bold aquas, greens and blues that stand out against the dusty backdrop vibrantly complement this bilingually told story about the Latino fiesta. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-89239-232-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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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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Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age.

THE THANKFUL BOOK

Parr focuses his simplistic childlike art and declarative sentences on gratitude for the pleasures and wonders of a child’s everyday life.

Using images of both kids and animals, each colorful scene in bold primary colors declaims a reason to be thankful. “I am thankful for my hair because it makes me unique” shows a yellow-faced child with a wild purple coiffure, indicating self-esteem. An elephant with large pink ears happily exclaims, “I am thankful for my ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you.’ ” Humor is interjected with, “I am thankful for underwear because I like to wear it on my head.” (Parents will hope that it is clean, but potty-humor–loving children probably won’t care.) Children are encouraged to be thankful for feet, music, school, vacations and the library, “because it is filled with endless adventures,” among other things. The book’s cheery, upbeat message is clearly meant to inspire optimistic gratitude; Parr exhorts children to “remember some [things to be thankful for] every day.”

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18101-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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