Snappy and exuberant, this rhyming picture book is sure to be a hit in a read-aloud.

BUG ON A BIKE

A fun-filled and humorous picture book about friendship and sharing.

When the bug on a bike stops by to pick up Lizard Mike, who is baking pies, readers will know they’re in for a silly treat. The bug and Lizard Mike also invite Randy the Toad and scores of others during the course of the story (including carpenter clams in boats, an athletic pickle, a skateboarding bunny and, hilariously, ants on a log) to go on a biking, skateboarding and rolling journey to no-one-but-the-bug knows where. Monroe’s rhyming text builds as she adds various critters to the journey. As entertaining as the text is, however, it is the illustrations that steal the show. Singularly absurd in their renditions (the lizard wears madras shorts, the snake dons a tubular blouse), the menagerie all nonetheless manage to look determined and earnest as they follow the bug on a bike—who himself has the endearing focused look of a toddler just learning to ride a two-wheeler. As the journey continues, tension builds—where the heck are they going? As it turns out, it is to the bug’s birthday party. Further silliness ensues as the author details the cavorting (the clams eat “buckets of nachos,” and the pickle break dances) at the party.

Snappy and exuberant, this rhyming picture book is sure to be a hit in a read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-2154-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Hee haw.

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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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