SMALL PIG

His pigpen spruced up by the farmer's wife and his good, soft mud gone, the small pig "is more than sorry. He is angry." So that night, discarding his new blue bow, he takes to the road. A swamp is a satisfying place to sleep until he's evicted by the animals; a junk yard is messy but not muddy. Then he comes to the city (where "even the air is dirty") and finds what he is looking for on a freshly-laid sidewalk. "He sits down/ and sinks down/ into the good, soft mud". . . which gets harder and harder until he cannot move. The spectacle of a pig stuck in the sidewalk draws crowds and will wow kids. Indeed, this little pig is a laugh all the way to his new, never-to-be-mopped-up mud puddle.

Pub Date: March 12, 1969

ISBN: 0064441202

Page Count: 68

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1969

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Suitably restful and soothing bedtime fare for youngsters.

OWL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

Forest-dwelling animal dyads hunker down for the night in their respective snuggeries.

Owls roost in a tree, “hoppy” bunnies burrow under flower beds, and field mice nestle in poppy flowers, to name a few. At least one of the featured animals in each spread is a cutout pasted onto the page, and die-cut holes in each page allow these critters to literally nestle as pages are turned, adding some tactile interest for young children. One or two lines of pedantic, rhymed couplets are sprinkled throughout the full-bleed, double-page spreads. In the lovely art, the animals live in dreamy landscapes of rich orange, yellow, purple, and red against deep blue-black backgrounds, successfully balancing a hint of realism with an adorable coziness. On the final pages, a grown blue songbird is enticed back to the nest to meet three yellow, newly hatched chicks. An older sibling? A straying spouse? Readers probably won’t wonder that hard. While the book does not present a realistic nighttime scene, as many of these animals are nocturnal or crepuscular, parents and caregivers will appreciate the title’s soporific qualities.

Suitably restful and soothing bedtime fare for youngsters. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-640-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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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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