A good choice for emerging poetry fans.

READ REVIEW

I HAIKU YOU

This sweet collection of haiku captures special moments of friendship and appreciation from a child’s point of view.

Love is explored in its broadest sense as a cast of winsome, ethnically diverse children are featured in everyday activities such as making snow angels, riding a bicycle and sharing a purple Popsicle. The pale watercolor backgrounds provide a soft, cozy environment in which the children begin their day as a cardinal chirps outside a window or several friends gather around a campfire to toast marshmallows. Snyder chooses words familiar to new readers while keeping the imagery and language lively and fun. One poem focuses on the reunion of a child and pet: “wiggle-wag tail love, / sloppy-smoochy-poochy love, / true-furry-friend love!” Another addresses a nighttime comfort: “shiny mister moon— / your smile keeps me company / when the lights go out,” while still another celebrates a newfound friend: “you be my jelly, / i’ll be your peanut butter— / let’s stick together!” It appears the book’s design aims to make it accessible to new poets and readers. All the text is lowercase, and much of the punctuation is limited to dashes and exclamation points. And most importantly, each poem satisfies when read aloud.

A good choice for emerging poetry fans. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86750-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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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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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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