Sure to become a read-aloud favorite.

READ REVIEW

COCKATOO, TOO

Some quite extraordinary cockatoos and toucans meet and greet each other in a fun-filled romp.

These exotic birds seem to accept and embrace eccentricity. One cockatoo looks up and spots another drifting down from the trees, greeting it as a new friend. When a second pair of cockatoos arrives wearing tutus, they generously gift the original pair with matching costumes. The silliness continues with toucans in tutus doing the cancan and inviting the cockatoos to dance. Soon the invitation is extended to owls and cuckoos, with at least one opting out of the madness. Murguia tells this slightest of tales in the sparest of language, employing six words multiple times in various combinations and including only a few others, resulting in delightful tongue twisters that will challenge adult readers and induce giggles galore in little ones. The text appears in large, widely spaced type on a white background at the bottom of double-paged spreads that are filled with bright green foliage and a cast of goofy-looking birds (and their tutus). The birds convey puzzlement, surprise, and joy with just a few subtle changes in their beaks and eyes. Readers will need sharp eyes to spot cockatoos descending from the trees and toucans emerging from bushes, with a surprise on the back cover. It’s all delightfully hilarious.

Sure to become a read-aloud favorite. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0102-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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 sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more