Solomon loves making frogs jump, bugging the dragonflies and stalking the storks. But his idea of fun doesn’t win him any...

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SOLOMON CROCODILE

Solomon Crocodile annoys and irritates the other creatures in the swamp.

Solomon loves making frogs jump, bugging the dragonflies and stalking the storks. But his idea of fun doesn’t win him any friends. None of them seem enjoy his games, and they tell him to stop being a nuisance, a pain, a pest and to just go way. The hippo is most emphatic in his denunciation of Solomon as “nothing but trouble,” and he slinks away to sulk because no one will play with him. When he hears a disturbance among the animals, he is frightened until he sees another crocodile, and they quickly join forces to become double trouble. Rayner employs descriptive and playful language to describe Solomon’s antics. Repetition of the phrase, “go away, Solomon, you’re nothing but….,” adds structure to the slight plot. Solomon’s toothy grin is ever present as he slithers through the swamp playing his tricks, and he appears appropriately chastised, sad or scared as the events warrant. Although Solomon is depicted as an exaggerated cartoon, the other creatures are drawn quite accurately. Unframed, large-scale illustrations fill double-page spreads with color and movement.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-38064-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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