A good story about cooperation—and the democratic process.

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LAMBSLIDE

When three self-centered young lambs hear the word “landslide,” they mistake it for “lambslide.”

The lambs live on an idyllic farm with the Farmers and their three children. The daughter, Nicolette, is running for class president. Her enthusiastic mom tells her: “You’ll win by a landslide!” The lambs believe everything on the farm happens for their benefit and are excited about the new lambslide, but their mother corrects them and says plaintively: “Now will you please let me finish eating the lawn?” After considering the other animals’ fun (pigs cavorting in mud and horses riding out with the humans), the lambs return to their mom, and she suggests polling the other farm inhabitants about a lambslide. They ask a chicken, a goat, and a pig for their support, then the humans. Nicolette, an experienced campaigner, makes signs. An election is held. “When all the votes were counted, the lambslide had won by a landslide.” The Farmers and their farmworker (all white) construct the slide, with everyone working. Patchett’s first children’s book is pleasantly old-fashioned, with some modern touches: Nicolette and her mother work as hard as the boys and men, and Nicolette gets involved in politics early! Preiss Glasser carries the book with her slyly humorous ink-and-watercolor illustrations, crafting distinct personalities for all her animal characters.

A good story about cooperation—and the democratic process. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288338-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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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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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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