Cooperation makes cleaning go much faster—particularly with friendly, rhyming llamas to show the way.

READ REVIEW

LLAMA LLAMA MESS MESS MESS

From the Llama Llama series

Llama Llama learns why tidying is important.

In yet another highly familiar childhood drama, Llama Llama does not want to clean up his toys. He’s having fun playing; why should he stop? Isn’t it Mama Llama’s job to clean up? Mama poses the question: “What if Mama never cleaned? / Imagine that! / What would that mean?” Mama zooms off on her roller skates, with a sheet for a cape, crunching snacks and dropping everything on the floor. Soon the house is strewn with toys, dirty dishes, and trash. “Crumbs and clothes and peanut shells… / What’s this thing? What’s that smell?” Llama Llama can’t take it anymore. “No more Llama / MESS / MESS / MESS!” Perhaps it is a good idea for Llama Llama to lend a hand. Helpful hints for youngsters are slipped inside: Every toy should have a place, and when making your bed, don’t forget to look underneath. This second collaboration between Duncan and Morrow since Dewdney’s passing feels more complete than Llama Llama Loves to Read (2018), with snappy rhythms and a twinkle in Mama’s eye. Returning to Llama Llama and Mama’s relationship feels like home.

Cooperation makes cleaning go much faster—particularly with friendly, rhyming llamas to show the way. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-670-01644-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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