A meditative tale of family, friendship and warmth.

READ REVIEW

THE STORM WHALE IN WINTER

A winter tale of a boy, his dad, and a whale

A little white boy’s love for his fisherman father and an unlikely friendship with a mysterious whale take the forefront in Davies’ sequel to The Storm Whale (2014). The seasons have changed, and little Noi has not seen his friend the whale in quite some time. “Now and then he thought he caught a glimpse of the whale, its tail tipping the waves in the distance. But it was always something else.” When Noi ventures out into a winter storm to help bring his father home to safety, gentle suspense ensues as Noi wanders over the frozen sea and is lost amid the snowflakes in search of his dad. Perhaps his loyal whale friend will intervene….As with its predecessor, the illustrations here capture the feeling of another time, provide a vivid depiction of life by the sea, and contain just the right amount of detail, while clear, descriptive text allows the plot to gracefully unfold. Readers who don’t know the previous selection will enjoy this quiet depiction of the seashore in winter, while those already familiar with Noi and his world will further appreciate this continuation of the earlier story.

A meditative tale of family, friendship and warmth. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-11186-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more