FAMILIES

Sticking to her tried and true formula (i.e., eye-catching photographs of people from all over the world accompanied by brief snippets of text), the author celebrates the concept of family. She includes many of the different forms a family can take—large or small, traditional or single-parent, foster, or biological. All are represented in this book. The text clearly and simply explains that what makes a family a special unit is that its members love each other, have fun together, and are there to help each one another. The presentation of family is certainly idealized here (perhaps the book should be called “Happy Families”). It would have been nice to see a few photos of angry, fighting families, just so the child listening to this story wouldn’t feel that something is wrong with his or her own family if its members aren’t always smiling and cheerful. While much of this ground has already been covered in Morris’s own Loving (1990) as well as in many other books, teachers and librarians will be happy to have this attractive and useful book in their collections. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-17198-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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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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PANDA KISSES

When a young panda asks each of his parents for a kiss, they give him choices: “A soft kiss? / A sweet kiss? / A sticky bamboo treat kiss?” High or low, in the sun or the rain, from a bunny or a fish? In the end the young panda determines that “There are many kisses that will do! / But the best kiss is—from both of you!” A large font, rhythm and rhyme, picture clues and a low word count per page will help emergent readers succeed. Widdowson’s bright illustrations scatter Chinese elements throughout, adding international flair, and sprinkle other animals exchanging smooches for extra interest. A sweet treat to share with a beginning reader. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-84562-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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