EMMA'S JOURNEY

An elegant idea becomes a rather inelegant mish-mash, as the author/illustrator combines her tale with her uncle’s photographs. Emma is a sparrow, a rounded figure with polka-dot boots, a red pom-pom on her white beret and little wings that work like hands. She lives in Central Park and loves to ride on her best friend Duckyduck’s back as he swims. But Duckyduck is migrating for the winter, and lonely Emma ends up at retired Uncle Bob’s. He recounts how their family migrated from Paris, and Emma decides to go there, but she needs to find Captain Joe, who lives near the Brooklyn Bridge. The illustrations consist mostly of Claire Frossard’s small, colorful figures placed on Etienne Frossard’s large and striking photographs of New York in winter. The visual narrative includes plenty of amusing side details (especially enjoyable are pictorial thought-bubbles), but Emma's story is overlong and meandering, more a vehicle for the images than their integral complement. Though frequently fanciful and amusing, the parts never quite weave into a coherent whole. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59270-099-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 30

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?

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more