A somewhat bland addition to the summer-vacation canon.

READ REVIEW

DAVY'S SUMMER VACATION!

From the Davy series

The vacation that Davy and his family take isn’t what they’d hoped for; it’s better.

Captivated by the vivid picture a friend paints of her family’s vacation, bunny Davy persuades his parents to embark on an exciting trip, too. The family packs seemingly everything they possess. Bad idea, considering that the overload breaks their wagon; an alternative suggestion to mail their belongings to their destination is discarded: too expensive. Davy’s siblings are bereft that their summer plans appear kaput, but the sight of a leaf gives Davy inspiration. He leads his family on a long trek through a beautiful natural landscape, allowing them to see “many new things” along the way—exactly the vacation experience they’d all wanted. Happily, the hike ends at a lush “magic spring” where everyone can swim, play in the warm sand, and enjoy a picnic—and which all acknowledge is a “real vacation paradise.” Davy explains the location was once Grandpa’s favorite childhood oasis (though both Mother and Father seem to be oddly ignorant of this), and the family makes plans to return soon to this idyllic spot. There’s not much plot in this thin, unoriginal story, but readers who yearn for vacation adventures will relate. The lively illustrations feature a close-knit, happy, expressive rabbit family of different sizes and hues. Double-page spreads preceding and following the narrative depict rambunctious activity.

A somewhat bland addition to the summer-vacation canon. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4278-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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