Arr-guably the best pirate fairy tale to sail the seven storytimes.

GOLDENLOCKS AND THE THREE PIRATES

Who dares board a most worthy sea vessel when its inhabitants are out? Best be looking for the telltale golden hair.

A piratical Mama, Papa, and Baby sail upon their sloop, a villain every one. Tired of hardtack, Mama attempts some good old-fashioned gruel, but she burns it (cooking’s not really her forte, but she wields a mean cutlass). As they row ashore in their dinghy for fresh water and let the gruel cool off, a lonesome girl follows her nose to the cooling breakfast. Instead of just going through the familiar fairy-tale motions, Goldenlocks fixes up, improves, and generally makes everything better onboard. And when she’s discovered, do the pirates offer her the plank? Nay, she’s given a job as the newest recruit instead! Salerno fills the illustrations chock-full of delightful details, the wind-tousled figures, all evidently white, rendered in jewel tones. The pirates prove a comical foil to the ever savvy Goldenlocks. In upsetting the clumsy-housebreaker trope, the titular heroine is something of a jack-of-all-trades, making her a perfect complement to other STEM-girl heroines. Somewhat less forward-thinking is that it’s Mama pirate who is the cook in the family while peg-legged Papa watches; some stereotypes don’t die.

Arr-guably the best pirate fairy tale to sail the seven storytimes. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30074-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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