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

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 Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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