Add to the growing collection of sibling stories, adoptive and otherwise, that delight and instruct.

WOLFIE THE BUNNY

A tongue-in-cheek tale of a wolf in Bunny clothing.

The Bunnys live in a garden-level (which is Brooklyn for “basement”) apartment and come home one day to find a basket holding a baby wolf at their door. Young Dot grasps the situation right away: “HE’S GOING TO EAT US ALL UP!” she exclaims. But Mama and Papa are charmed by how much he eats and how well he sleeps and even how well he drools (on Dot). Dot sticks to her line, however, even when her little brother—now much bigger than she is and clad in a giant pink bunny suit—accompanies her to the Carrot Patch, the local organic co-op. There in the produce department is a bear! He thinks Wolfie is dinner! Dot fiercely and feistily defends her brother, and when the bear dismisses her as a bunny and announces he is bigger, she responds that she’s HUNGRY and she will start munching on the bear’s TOES. The bear runs away; the siblings go home. It’s pretty adorable. OHora’s stark acrylics, with strong black line and accents, make use of few colors (shades of red, gray and gold) to good effect. Dot’s perpetual scowl is particularly acute.

Add to the growing collection of sibling stories, adoptive and otherwise, that delight and instruct. (artist’s note, author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-22614-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

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. 29, 2018

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Still, this may be just the ticket for harried moms who want to point out all they do for their kids and get a little help...

HOW TO RAISE A MOM

From the How To... series

Mothers finally get their due from Reagan and Wildish, who instruct readers on how to raise a happy and healthy mom.

A white brother-and-sister pair are readers’ guides, and the day starts with how to wake Mom up: let her sleep in a little, kiss her, and serve breakfast in bed (in Wildish’s humorous digital illustrations, whole fruits—including a pineapple and a lime—a box of popcorn, and juice). The kids ready Mom for the day by dressing her (!) and piling everything necessary at the door. Stuck in a long line at the store? If a surprise treat and acting silly fail, just say, “Thank you so much, Sweet Pea, for being so patient.” The day continues with time for work, outside play, and relaxing, followed by some tips about eating vegetables and bedtime routines. While many of the pages are laugh-out-loud funny, this misses the mark in terms of consistency, sometimes prodding kids to do nice things (breakfast in bed, tidy up for her), sometimes reversing the parent and child roles (the hilarious scene in the store), and other times just showing what moms regularly do anyway (playing outdoors, sitting and chatting with another mom on a “playdate”).

Still, this may be just the ticket for harried moms who want to point out all they do for their kids and get a little help in return—sly fun in other words. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-53829-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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