A clever, irresistible, visually engaging search-and-find exercise.

READ REVIEW

THE LOST HOUSE

Before Grandad can take his two grandchildren to the park, he needs their help to find various personal items he’s lost.

Locating Grandad’s misplaced socks, shoes, dentures, glasses, umbrella, tote bag, bow tie, pocket watch, keys, hat, and mobile phone in his enormous house, filled from floor to ceiling with a bizarre assembly of peculiar possessions, becomes a daunting exercise for all concerned. Inviting reader participation, the text offers clues and directs the hunt, beginning in the green living room and progressing to the red kitchen, yellow bathroom, pink drawing room, blue hallway, pink and gray study, purple reading room, brown attic, and green greenhouse before ending in the magenta mezzanine. Grandad’s missing items appear collectively in the frontispiece, but they are later diabolically concealed within the welter of lines and patterns adorning the incredibly detailed illustrations. Adding to the visual confusion, everything in each room (except Grandad and his silently searching grandchildren, all anthropomorphic dogs) appears in the same bold color, artfully camouflaging the lost items. Red shoes in an overcrowded red kitchen could be anywhere. Is there really a pink-and-gray bow tie somewhere in the pink and gray study? Where’s the green hat with the feather in the greenhouse teeming with green plants? Will the grandchildren and readers ever locate Grandad’s missing gear?

A clever, irresistible, visually engaging search-and-find exercise. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-99921-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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A good choice for just those days when Mom and Dad do go away and leave their children in charge of Grandpa.

HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA

From the How To... series

Reagan’s second outing is a tongue-in-cheek reversal of roles as a young boy instructs readers on how best to entertain and care for a grandpa while Mom and Dad are away.

First, he instructs them to hide when Grandpa rings the doorbell—resist the wiggles and giggles, and only pop out when he gives up. Then, reassure him that Mom and Dad will be back and distract him with a snack—heavy on the ice cream, cookies, ketchup and olives. Throughout the day, the narrator takes his grandpa for a walk, entertains him, plays with him, puts him down for a nap and encourages him to clean up before Mom and Dad’s return. Lists on almost every spread give readers a range of ideas for things to try, provided their grandfathers are not diabetic or arthritic, or have high blood pressure or a heart condition. These lists also provide Wildish with lots of fodder for his vignette illustrations. His digital artwork definitely focuses on the humor, with laugh-out-loud scenes and funny hidden details. And his characters’ expressive faces also help to fill in the grandfather-grandson relationship that Reagan's deadpan narrative leaves unstated.

A good choice for just those days when Mom and Dad do go away and leave their children in charge of Grandpa. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86713-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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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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