One of the cutest tadpole-to-frog stories ever. (Picture book. 4-8)

TAD

A tiny tadpole finally finds her frog legs.

Tad, depicted as an earnest yellow eye attached to a wiggly black tail, is “the smallest almost-a-frog in the whole wide pond.” She wriggles “twice as fast just to keep up” with her endearing tadsiblings, all of them bursting with expression even though they are all pretty much simple egg-shaped eyes with tails. But “she [is] strong and she [is] clever,” and she counts on these skills to keep her safe from Big Blub, a creepy greenish fish who’s reputed to feed on little tadpoles. “Tad [has] never seen Big Blub” and “decide[s] not to believe” in him, her smug smile turning anxious as she finds hiding spots, “just in case.” The tadpoles grow legs and lose their tails, and they positively thrum with youthful energy as they rejoice in their new bodies—“All except for Tad,” who stays bean-shaped and be-tailed. The number of Tad’s tadbrothers and tadsisters starts to dwindle, slowly and ominously, until she’s left all alone. The slow suspense, tapping into young children’s fear of abandonment, builds masterfully with joyous payoff in a final, vibrant spread after Tad skedaddles away from Big Blub in a riotous burst of limbs. Davies’ mostly muted palette is dominated by teal and algae green, enlivened with the tadpoles’ bright yellow, orange, blue, and purple eyes.

One of the cutest tadpole-to-frog stories ever. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-256359-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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 must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY YOU BEGIN

School-age children encounter and overcome feelings of difference from their peers in the latest picture book from Woodson.

This nonlinear story centers on Angelina, with big curly hair and brown skin, as she begins the school year with a class share-out of summer travels. Text and illustrations effectively work together to convey her feelings of otherness as she reflects on her own summer spent at home: “What good is this / when others were flying,” she ponders while leaning out her city window forlornly watching birds fly past to seemingly faraway places. López’s incorporation of a ruler for a door, table, and tree into the illustrations creatively extends the metaphor of measuring up to others. Three other children—Rigoberto, a recent immigrant from Venezuela; a presumably Korean girl with her “too strange” lunch of kimchi, meat, and rice; and a lonely white boy in what seems to be a suburb—experience more-direct teasing for their outsider status. A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride in spite of the taunting. This reassuring, lyrical book feels like a big hug from a wise aunt as she imparts the wisdom of the world in order to calm trepidatious young children: One of these things is not like the other, and that is actually what makes all the difference.

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-24653-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

more