Tip and Tucker are not Elephant and Piggie, but they’re cute and provide good practice for new readers.

READ REVIEW

ROAD TRIP

From the Tip and Tucker series

This beginning reader introduces children to two hamsters with quite different personalities.

Part of the I Am A Reader line, this first outing for Tip and Tucker opens in a pet shop, where Mr. Lopez has come to purchase a pet. Tucker, a larger tan hamster, is excited and tries to get Tip, a smaller gray-and-white hamster, interested. But Tip is the opposite of curious, adventurous Tucker, and he hides in his plastic igloo. Mr. Lopez purchases both hamsters, some food, and a cage. Tip gets even more nervous when the man tells Rosa (whether proprietor or clerk is unclear) that the hamsters’ new home will be noisy; he doesn’t like noisy. The trip to the car is bumpy, and the car ride is more of the same. But Tucker likes the look of their new home: It’s got blocks, jump ropes, balls, and lots of books. Mr. Lopez’s parting words raise more questions for the two—“See you tomorrow. Your first day of school!”—and set up the sequel. Short sentences in a fairly large font and repetition help make the text of this rather bland plot manageable for confident beginning readers, while Ceolin’s adorable illustrations give children clues and nicely show the contrast between nervous Tip and reassuring Tucker. Mr. Lopez and Rosa are probably both Latinx; he with light skin and glasses and she with brown skin.

Tip and Tucker are not Elephant and Piggie, but they’re cute and provide good practice for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-53411-006-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

This earnest Latino first-grader who overcomes obstacles and solves mysteries is a winning character

PEDRO, FIRST-GRADE HERO

From the Pedro series , Vol. 1

The creators of the Katie Woo series turn their focus to a peripheral character, first-grader Pedro—Katie’s friend and schoolmate.

Four short chapters—“Pedro Goes Buggy,” “Pedro’s Big Goal,” “Pedro’s Mystery Club,” and “Pedro For President”—highlight a Latino main character surrounded by a superbly diverse cast. At times unsure of himself, Pedro is extremely likable, for he wants to do his best and is a fair friend. He consistently comes out on top, even when his younger brother releases all the bugs he’s captured for a class assignment or when self-assured bully Roddy tries to unite opposition to Pedro’s female opponent (Katie Woo) in the race for first-grade class president. Using a third-person, past-tense narrative voice, Manushkin expands her repertoire by adding a hero comparable to EllRay Jakes. What is refreshing about the book is that for the most part, aside from Roddy’s gender-based bullying, the book overcomes boy-girl stereotypes: girls and boys play soccer, boys and girls run for president, girls and boys hunt for bugs, all setting a progressive standard for chapter books. With mixed-media illustrations featuring colorful bugs, soccer action, a mystery hunt, and a presidential campaign, Lyon’s attention to detail in color and facial expressions complements the story nicely.

This earnest Latino first-grader who overcomes obstacles and solves mysteries is a winning character . (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5158-0112-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more