This stunning interpretation of a fascinating region soars with polished poetry and striking, memorable art.

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DREAM FLIGHTS ON ARCTIC NIGHTS

A child dreams of flying through the night sky over the Arctic region, seeing animals, fish, and birds as well as the northern lights.

The unnamed child narrates the first-person text in rhyming quatrains that lyrically describe the flight and everything seen and heard. The journey begins when a huge raven picks the child up from bed. The child floats through the starlit sky, seeing wolves, grizzly bears, eagles, and salmon. A puffin now joins the child, and they head farther north, past whales and sea lions. A snowy owl continues the journey, flying the child over the tundra, where they spot an arctic fox, a polar bear, and the dramatic display of the northern lights. The final illustration of the child back in bed, returned by the raven, holds several surprises: The child’s previously plain quilt is now decorated with all the creatures seen on the wondrous flight, the child holds a star, and the raven is flying off with the tassel of the child’s cap in its beak. The rhyming text is characterized by rich, evocative vocabulary and dramatic rhythm, matched by spectacular linocut illustrations with black backgrounds, glowing colors, and exaggerated perspectives that suggest a surreal dream world. The child has beige skin and dark hair and eyes. The setting is indicated by the title and arctic wildlife and by a simple map of the Arctic Ocean on the wall of the child’s cozy bedroom.

This stunning interpretation of a fascinating region soars with polished poetry and striking, memorable art. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-51326-189-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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