Hilarious. How will Yam and Donkey top this? (Picture book. 5-8)

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YOU LOVES EWE!

From the Yam and Donkey series

Ewe will love it! (You will too.)

Bell introduces readers to a humorous trio: the studious, bespectacled Yam, the slow-witted Donkey, and the titular, and mostly silent, Ewe. Donkey kicks off the foolishness in initially mistaking the anthropomorphic tuber and the female sheep for fellow donkeys. When Yam corrects these errors and explains that “this is Ewe,” the snowball of wordplay begins its long descent down the hill of wackiness. Along the way, readers learn what a homonym is. Bell fits a lot into the story, making good use of speech bubbles and sequential panels across spreads of the picture book. She also keeps the humor interlaced with moments of learning that play well with the page turns. The artwork is bold, with thick, black lines and bright, simple colors, so it will play well to the back of a storytime room or classroom. Some adults may find the multiple voices to be a challenge as a solo reader, but it’s well worth the effort, as the combination of language and images will have young readers in fits of giggles. The artwork beautifully conveys the zany hijinks. Following the pupils in Donkey’s googly eyes as it thinks about each new concept is a silly joy in itself.

Hilarious. How will Yam and Donkey top this? (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-52611-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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