Silvestro and Mai-Wyss make plain the joys of intellectual curiosity and exploration, and their message is clear: Libraries...

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BUNNY'S BOOK CLUB GOES TO SCHOOL

Bunny goes to school to accompany his book buddy from the library.

Now that Bunny and his friends have library cards (Bunny’s Book Club, 2017), they meet every Saturday to enjoy all that the library has to offer: audiobooks, the computer, arts and crafts, puzzles, and, of course, books. For Bunny, Saturdays mean spending time with his new book buddy, Josie, who recommends and helps him read new books. But one fall day, Josie isn’t herself. She’s worried about making friends in her new school. Bunny’s solution? Why, to be her friend at school, of course. Monday’s parade to school grows and grows until all nine animal book-club friends are at the school searching for Josie…and then, one by one, the animals are distracted by all the new places and interesting things going on: basketball, a computer room, the science lab. Only Bunny is left to find Josie. And then he enters the library. Will he remember his goal? Friendship wins out in the end, and everyone finishes the school day with new pals. Mai-Wyss’ animals are endearing and full of curiosity, kindness, and caring. Josie and the librarian have brown skin and Afro-textured hair; the schoolchildren are diverse.

Silvestro and Mai-Wyss make plain the joys of intellectual curiosity and exploration, and their message is clear: Libraries and schools are wonderful places to learn, grow, and seek your joy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64464-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Hee haw.

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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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Spires’ understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle...

THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING

Making things is difficult work. Readers will recognize the stages of this young heroine’s experience as she struggles to realize her vision.

First comes anticipation. The artist/engineer is spotted jauntily pulling a wagonload of junkyard treasures. Accompanied by her trusty canine companion, she begins drawing plans and building an assemblage. The narration has a breezy tone: “[S]he makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” The colorful caricatures and creations contrast with the digital black outlines on a white background that depict an urban neighborhood. Intermittent blue-gray panels break up the white expanses on selected pages showing sequential actions. When the first piece doesn’t turn out as desired, the protagonist tries again, hoping to achieve magnificence. A model of persistence, she tries many adjustments; the vocabulary alone offers constructive behaviors: she “tinkers,” “wrenches,” “fiddles,” “examines,” “stares” and “tweaks.” Such hard work, however, combines with disappointing results, eventually leading to frustration, anger and injury. Explosive emotions are followed by defeat, portrayed with a small font and scaled-down figures. When the dog, whose expressions have humorously mirrored his owner’s through each phase, retrieves his leash, the resulting stroll serves them well. A fresh perspective brings renewed enthusiasm and—spoiler alert—a most magnificent scooter sidecar for a loyal assistant.

Spires’ understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle characterization for maximum delight. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55453-704-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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