SHAKE THE TREE!

A MINIBOMBO BOOK

A hungry mouse gets more than she bargained for when she tries to shake loose a tasty nut in Vignocchi, Chiarinotti, and Borando’s debut collaboration.

Opening vertically to emphasize the tree’s impressive height, the first spread of this energetic picture book shows a small mouse looking up longingly at a nut high in a tree. Hungry, she declares her intentions to “gobble [it] up” and starts to shake the tree this way and that until at last down from the tree falls…a hungry fox. No sooner does it land than it exclaims that it is going to gobble up the little mouse (as foxes do). The mouse scurries up the tree in fright, and the fox begins to shake it until down tumbles…a hungry warthog. And on the pattern goes, with frightened prey hiding in the tree and hungry predators giving it a shake only to dislodge a bigger, hungrier animal. The three co-authors have delivered a delightful narrative, full of comically narrow escapes, and Borando returns with her smooth styling and fresh, uncluttered spreads that bring visual humor and irony that hold right through till the final page. The book’s design requires readers to turn the book as the layout keeps shifting from vertical to horizontal, and while readers end up mimicking all the tree shaking in the narrative, the effect is a little wearing.

A charming workout. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9488-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more