WOLF WANTED

Manny Wolf is looking for a job. When he spies an ad in the paper that reads, “Wolf Wanted,” it seems perfect. But alas, they are looking for a real wolf, not a human with a convenient last name. However, the company has so many applicants that they need someone to go through all of the letters. Manny is hired. As each letter unfolds, Manny begins to recognize familiar canine friends. Readers will delight in guessing which wolf, from several popular stories and fables, has applied for the job. The first few are simple; one unknown wolf boasts about huffing and puffing. But several letters in, the wolves get more obscure. One even has a reference from St. Francis of Assisi! Cardon’s wolves are sly, with sharp teeth and long pointy snouts. Even Manny resembles his namesake, with angular features and two tufts of hair sticking straight up. Translated by Amado from Portuguese, the text is a bit heavy at times, but the letters themselves are clever fun. With a wink and a nod to fictional wolves worldwide. (facts on wolves) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-88899-880-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

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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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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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