When it comes to books about napping, the Wood team cannot beat their own The Napping House, and while their love for their...


A dog’s life is a tough one, as evidenced by Duffy’s busy day, which consists mostly of naps punctuated by meals.

The Woods' pug’s typical day includes going out to the yard to “potty,” playing with his best friend and greeting his dog friends on a walk to the park. But most of the book focuses on the numerous naps Duffy takes. There are the before- and after-breakfast naps, the “late morning nap” and the “mid-day nap” that lasts through into the “early afternoon nap.” Three more naps and it’s bedtime, when, surprise, Duffy, dressed in pajamas that match his best friend’s, isn’t tired. The short sentences and relatively easy vocabulary make this a good choice for new readers, if they can get through the banality of Duffy’s schedule. The inclusion of clocks in all different shapes and sizes helps readers tell how much time has passed between naps, though the younger audience may have appreciated a focus on only the hours. Throughout, Duffy’s wrinkles and intense eyes reflect his emotions, especially his impatience (or is it embarrassment?) at waiting in line at the bank while dressed in a pirate costume.

When it comes to books about napping, the Wood team cannot beat their own The Napping House, and while their love for their pug is obvious, in terms of fun (or even interesting) dog books, almost anything can beat this. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-22089-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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


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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Hee haw.

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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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