From tighty whiteys to boxers and even a union suit, underpants of all styles, colors and patterns are depicted in bright...

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THE UNDERPANTS ZOO

In rhyming verse that sometimes stumbles, Sendelbach’s picture-book debut showcases a zoo where all the animals wear underwear.

From tighty whiteys to boxers and even a union suit, underpants of all styles, colors and patterns are depicted in bright acrylic illustrations. “Kangaroo’s boxers need / plenty of bounce. / For the sloths, / fluffy comfort is what counts.” Some animals’ choices will prove no surprise—the spots on the leopard’s underwear or the fact that elephant’s underpants are size extra-jumbo gigantic. Others are a refreshing change—the zebras prefer stars on their underwear, and crocodile’s skivvies have to be seen to be believed. Many choices either solve or cause problems for their wearers—the penguins’ are prechilled in the freezer, camel’s are always collecting sand and anteater’s? Well, readers can surely guess his problem. Sendelbach keeps his backgrounds and details simple, allowing children to focus on the humorous depictions of animals in underwear, some of which may cause adults to raise an eyebrow (the snakes share one pair, for instance). Overall, though, this tries too hard to be too many things.

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-545-24935-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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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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