Adelaide and her buddy will help kids get “the whole picture.” (Picture book. 5-7)

READ REVIEW

BEARS MAKE THE BEST MATH BUDDIES

In this follow-up to Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies (2016), Adelaide and her friendly bear are back to ace mathematics.

Dressed in a sweater patterned with geometric shapes and arithmetical symbols, Bear is ready to tackle math assignments. Although her class is working on first-grade addition and subtraction, Adelaide makes far-reaching claims about Bear’s mathematical prowess. She proceeds to detail ursine creatures’ varied skills, and the brightly colored digital illustrations show Bear, with Adelaide’s help, demonstrating these. From building a treehouse using complex measurements and comparing a compass face to a watch face, they go on to simple geometry and arithmetic. When Adelaide and her friend go berry picking, he shows her how to “sort [the different fruits] into groups so they can analyze their haul and sum up their rewards.” Real-world connections are further clarified in an ice cream shop, when Bear and Adelaide get superduper cones and the tab is $12.45. (Too bad it’s impossible for clever readers to use the price board to understand how the cashier arrived at that total.) Adelaide’s statement that bears understand that “math is everywhere” clinches it for Mrs. Fitz-Pea. Adelaide presents white, Mrs. Fitz-Pea has brown skin, and the other students are diverse. While it’s a swift survey, it effectively conveys the importance of math in everyday life.

Adelaide and her buddy will help kids get “the whole picture.” (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-079-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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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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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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