A somewhat bland addition to the summer-vacation canon.

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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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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