In all, Gabi’s ferocity comes across as pretty limp. Pass.

READ REVIEW

I DON'T LIKE PINK

Gabi is excited to receive a surprise present from her grandmother, but, once unwrapped, the gift box reveals a pink T-shirt. (See title.)

Akin to waving a red cape at a bull, the very pinkness of the T-shirt enrages Gabi, and she unleashes her ire on her unsuspecting friend, Ben. Fighting the stereotype that all girls like pink, Gabi details her hatred of pink and affinity for blue. Fortunately Ben is fast on his feet and swaps his blue T-shirt for the offending pink gift. The author, who has a soft twang, narrates at a moderate pace and attempts to infuse emotion into an otherwise flat dialogue, which is only slightly enhanced by vocal exclamation and varying type sizes and colors. A few animated elements, such as tissue paper flying from the gift box, notwithstanding, the iPad platform is not leveraged. Navigation is standard, with a simple finger swipe to turn pages; at the story’s conclusion, however, there is no easy way to return to the title page—instead readers are subjected to advertising for other apps from the publisher. The text’s final pages feature several story-related questions that attempt to connect the text’s themes to the reader’s own experiences.

In all, Gabi’s ferocity comes across as pretty limp. Pass. (iPad storybook app. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 25, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: PicPocket Books

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

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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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A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history.

THE SCARECROW

Ferry and the Fans portray a popular seasonal character’s unlikely friendship.

Initially, the protagonist is shown in his solitary world: “Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / the mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” His presence is effective; the animals stay outside the fenced-in fields, but the omniscient narrator laments the character’s lack of friends or places to go. Everything changes when a baby crow falls nearby. Breaking his pole so he can bend, the scarecrow picks it up, placing the creature in the bib of his overalls while singing a lullaby. Both abandon natural tendencies until the crow learns to fly—and thus departs. The aabb rhyme scheme flows reasonably well, propelling the narrative through fall, winter, and spring, when the mature crow returns with a mate to build a nest in the overalls bib that once was his home. The Fan brothers capture the emotional tenor of the seasons and the main character in their panoramic pencil, ballpoint, and digital compositions. Particularly poignant is the close-up of the scarecrow’s burlap face, his stitched mouth and leaf-rimmed head conveying such sadness after his companion goes. Some adults may wonder why the scarecrow seems to have only partial agency, but children will be tuned into the problem, gratified by the resolution.

A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247576-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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