Of course Ollie wants a brother…for a little familial warmth and dependability.

READ REVIEW

OLLIE THE ELEPHANT

From the Tuff Books series

Ollie, pining for a baby brother, goes on a walkabout to find one or become someone else’s.

Ollie had high hopes of getting a baby brother for his birthday, but when that doesn’t pan out—“You don’t get little children for your birthday,” his mother rather unsympathetically tells him—he straps on his roller skates and heads out the door to see what he might find. When no baby elephants materialize, Ollie asks a number of other creatures if he can join their clans—a stag, a frog, a bat—but since he isn’t one of them (he hasn’t got the stag’s horns, for instance, though he does tie a chair on his head in a heartbreaking attempt), nothing really works out. He gets lost, he breaks his leg, and he gets found. His mother tells him, “your father and I plan to have more children,” still rather unsympathetically, like she’s going to get an oil change or something. Bos’ narrative is verbose, practically swamping de Beer’s delicate but comic pen-and-ink illustrations, and remarkably unmusical (though perhaps that's the translation). Its punchy directness has an undeniable clarity and a measure of drama. But really, Ollie’s gone for four days and all Mother can say is “we’ve been so worried about you”?

Of course Ollie wants a brother…for a little familial warmth and dependability. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4075-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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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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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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