The text and illustrations will amuse, and children and caregivers alike will find something to relate to in this...

GRIZZLY BOY

A boy decides he wants to be wild and free, like a bear.

Theo wakes up one morning and decides he is a bear. He practices his growl, scratches his rear on his bedpost, and declares bears don’t wear underwear (bare bottom illustrated, so giggles are guaranteed). His mother plays along with his grizzly ways (and even sees opportunities for adding veggies to his diet) but tries to tame his wildness. As a bear, Theo causes a lot of trouble at school. Using a touch of turnabout, his mother helps him realize that he can be a little wild and free while still following the rules. Davis-Pyles captures the struggle between a child who wants to play all day and a parent who wants to maintain control but not stifle his imagination. The narration is typed, while dialogue is illustrated in speech bubbles. Although the story flows well, there is one speech bubble that may cause pause: “Forest foods will make you brown bear BIG!” In the illustrations, Subisak alternates Theo as a boy with Theo as a grizzly. She uses bold colors and varied lines to add movement and emphasis on the emotions and actions. Using the details and the shadows, she does an excellent job of showing the two sides: grizzly vs. human. Theo and his mom present Asian.

The text and illustrations will amuse, and children and caregivers alike will find something to relate to in this actions-and-consequences story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63217-168-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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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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