A sweet tale about friendship that gives a glimpse of life in another part of the world, this loving tribute to Beijing is a...

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ANGEL IN BEIJING

A Chinese girl in search of her lost kitty inadvertently takes readers on a tour of famous landmarks in Beijing.

An unnamed girl and a stray white kitty quickly form a friendship. “Kitty loves to come with me when I bicycle around Beijing.” The two even come up with a unique call and answer using the girl’s “new bell” she attaches to the handlebars: “Trrring-trring. Niaow-niaow, answers Kitty.” Unfortunately, while enjoying the kites at the Dragon Boat Festival, Kitty ambitiously captures a dragon kite only to be whisked away from her friend. The perfectly balanced and evenly paced narrative highlights the many historic sites in Beijing while showcasing the small scenes of everyday life during her search. “I visit Liulichang Street. Kitty has good taste in antiques. She likes to watch artists painting, too.” Yang brings another layer of emotion to the story when the girl finally finds her furry friend in the care of “a granny” and must decide where Kitty is needed the most. Yang’s simple sketches are painted over with bright, bold colors that are sure to keep young eyes exploring every scene, which bustle with cars, bicyclists, and other people enjoying activities both familiar and less typical for Western readers.

A sweet tale about friendship that gives a glimpse of life in another part of the world, this loving tribute to Beijing is a perfect read-aloud for young travelers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9270-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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