Problem-solvers and dog lovers alike will pounce on this series.

MOST VALUABLE PUPPY

From the Doggie Daycare series , Vol. 1

This opening title for a chapter-book series follows Korean siblings Shawn and Kat Choi as they petsit for Bouncer, an active Jack Russell terrier who loves kimchi.

As the story opens, these characters bound on the scene with a ready-to-play attitude. When the siblings decide to start a doggie day care business, Bouncer is their first customer. Living up to his name, the high-energy pup leaves chewed-up shoes and a half-eaten chicken in his wake. Focusing on his personality, the siblings determine that exercising him at a nearby park curbs his bad behavior. Using kimchi as a reward, they train Bouncer to fetch balls on the tennis court, the baseball field, and the soccer pitch. Each book in this series highlights a different dog breed and the unique care and training required to bring out their best behavior. Publishing simultaneously are Blue Ribbon Pup, about a bichon frisé; Dog Sled Star, about a Siberian husky; and Library Buddy, about a goldendoodle. Set in large, easy-to-read type, the vocabulary is useful and simple, with just a few reach words like “obstacle” and “occasion.” Hanakata’s illustrations, well balanced with the text, depict Bouncer as a cheerfully playful puppy, propelling the action forward with his antics; Shawn and Kat are supported by a diverse cast in which readers of many colors can see themselves reflected.

Problem-solvers and dog lovers alike will pounce on this series. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63163-340-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Hee haw.

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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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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