This lighthearted story revels in the small acts that make life better—cheers all around

HOORAY FOR HAT!

All the animals are grumpy until a surprise brightens their day in this tale about the joy of sharing.

With eyebrows knit and feet clenched, Elephant stomps downstairs. A black-scribble cloud hovers over his head. But his anger melts into delight when he finds a gift on the doorstep—a tall and very silly hat comprising many other hats stacked one on top of the other. Happily, Elephant puts it on, exclaiming, “Hooray for hat!” Wanting to show others, he runs from one home to the next, distributing hats one by one and perking up his crabby crew of friends. When Elephant’s hats are all gone, the pals each contribute their own to make a new gift for Giraffe. The artwork, done in a pastel palette, is appealing and playful, and the heritage of Mary Blair can be seen in the spreads. Everything—from the composition of the characters to the way the images are placed with relation to the type—is well-designed. Won especially plays with definition, form and color. As each surly animal is introduced, it becomes less defined: Turtle is a shell, Owl a silhouette and Lion a dark cave. But when the animals join the hat party, they emerge in expressive, full form.

This lighthearted story revels in the small acts that make life better—cheers all around . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-15903-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 28

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?

more