Following on Library Day (2016), this is a lovely addition to the creators’ series on first experiences.

READ REVIEW

ZOO DAY

From the My First Experience series

A little boy visits the zoo for the first time and is enthralled by all its wonders.

Joined by his parents and sister, Lucy, the boy relates each part of the day, from buying tickets to studying the zoo map and the slightly alarming animal sounds he hears in the near distance. But as they wind their way through the park, visiting the Jungle House to see the monkeys, the Gorilla Forest, the African Plain and its elephants, the lions inside the Grasslands building, the Reptile House, and polar bears and sea lions, the new experience of seeing the animals and their behaviors up close fascinates this youngster. The initial trepidation the boy felt at the beginning of his day gives way to sheer delight in the Bird House, where the birds fly freely and a parrot lands on his shoulder for a sip of nectar. A picnic lunch and a couple of balloons for souvenirs complete the perfect Saturday outing for this brown-skinned family of four. Detailed watercolors rendered in soft hues fluently complement the boy’s first-person narrative and give readers a firsthand view of the zoo’s residents.

Following on Library Day (2016), this is a lovely addition to the creators’ series on first experiences. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2734-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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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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But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave...

RUFUS GOES TO SCHOOL

Rufus Leroy Williams III is determined to learn how to read, but can he convince Principal Lipid to allow a pig in school?

Rufus makes the best of his illiteracy by imagining his own stories to go with the pictures in his favorite book, but still he longs to read. The tiny pig knows just how to solve his problem, though: With a backpack, he can go to school. But Principal Lipid seems to think it takes more than a backpack to attend school—if you are a pig, that is, since pigs are sure to wreak all sorts of havoc in school: track mud, start food fights, etc. Rufus decides a lunchbox is just the ticket, but the principal feels differently. Maybe a blanket for naptime? Or promises not to engage in specific behaviors? Nope. But the real necessary items were with Rufus all along—a book and the desire to learn to read it. Gorbachev’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations emphasize Rufus’ small size, making both his desire and the principal’s rejection seem that much larger. Parents and teachers beware: The humorous pages of imagined, naughty behavior may be more likely to catch children’ eyes than Rufus’ earnestly good behavior.

But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave him room to dream.” (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0416-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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