Kids will find comfort in the familiar “needs” of the cold and knowing that they will get better soon to “run around and...

READ REVIEW

WHAT A COLD NEEDS

Being sick is never fun, but it helps to know exactly what a cold might need to go on its way.

Follow along as a young child copes with a cold and makes note of everything important to feel better. Warm socks, puppy snuggles, and a bit of sympathy from your siblings are just a few things that come to mind that help our young protagonist. The text phrases these necessities with lyricism and whimsy: A cold “likes to listen to the chirping of the birds // and the tinkling of raindrops, / with a clear view of the sweet blue sky.” Sheban’s soft-edged illustrations join Bottner’s soothingly paced text, offering full-page and vignette illustrations to accompany complex sentences beat by beat and slowing down for languorous double-page spreads where a single clause or simple declarative sentence stops to take its time for, for instance, some “music and a long, deep afternoon nap.” Here the child sleeps, mouth open (a red nose attests that it’s plugged), a snoozing dog atop the blankets and a radio emitting musical notes. The palette, sun-drenched greens and earth hues, is visual chicken soup. The protagonist’s mom has light-brown skin and her dad presents white, suggesting an interracial family.

Kids will find comfort in the familiar “needs” of the cold and knowing that they will get better soon to “run around and cause just a little trouble” once again. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4172-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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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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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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