Zorro and Mister Bud are quite a pair; readers will hope for more unpredictable but amusing adventures with them.

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MISTER BUD WEARS THE CONE

Zorro the pug and his pal, Mister Bud, pair up again for their third amusingly understated adventure (Zorro Gets an Outfit, 2012, etc.), this time focusing on Mister Bud’s unpleasant stint wearing an Elizabethan collar while a sore spot heals.

Every dog owner is familiar with the necessary but traumatic cone-shaped collar that prevents a dog from licking an injury or biting at post-surgical stitches. Mister Bud, a large, big-nosed dog of indeterminate breed, has developed a “hot spot,” which he aggravates through licking at it overnight. His owner tries some healing ointment, to no avail, and finally straps on the hated cone when she has to leave for work. Poor Mister Bud spends a miserably uncomfortable day in the cone, unable to see or play or eat properly, and his sidekick Zorro the pug makes things worse by teasing Mister Bud and stealing his favorite stuffed toy. A succinct, masterfully paced text is filled with humorous taunts from Zorro and hilarious descriptions of Mister Bud’s misery. Quirky watercolor illustrations show Zorro’s feisty personality and Mister’s Bud’s difficulties with the cone in vignettes set off by lots of white space, spotlighting the canine antics. In a satisfying conclusion, Mister Bud receives extra attention from the owner and a special treat, which he shares with Zorro despite his pal’s less-than-exemplary behavior during Mister’s Bud cone crisis.

Zorro and Mister Bud are quite a pair; readers will hope for more unpredictable but amusing adventures with them. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8088-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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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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