Moral: Fame isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, even if it does come with a fanny pack.

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COOKIE THE WALKER

A canine parable about the dangers of fame.

Cookie is an ordinary dog, except that she walks on two feet instead of four. When questioned by her dog friend Kevin, she explains that being taller has helped her in many situations—especially reaching the candy dish. In fact, she likes walking on two feet so much that she keeps doing it. She walks on a treadmill, up the stairs, down a meandering country path, everywhere. Then she learns to walk on balls, railings and flaming boards across a pool filled with snapping turtles (the logical next step). Her bipedal walking causes so such excitement that she is asked to join the circus. She even gets her own television show! Kevin is excited for Cookie’s fortune, but he sees that she is exhausted. Cookie’s only chance at survival is to put all four feet on the floor and simply walk away. But can she do it? Monroe’s playful illustrations are filled with sly adult asides and plenty of detail for sharp-eyed young readers. Similar to Monroe’s first animal hero, Monkey with a Tool Belt (2008, etc.), Cookie has an oversized head and spindly legs, which makes her upright walk all the more amusing.

Moral: Fame isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, even if it does come with a fanny pack. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5617-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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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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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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