Guaranteed to appeal to fans of Frozen and other princess tales.

READ REVIEW

ONCE UPON A CLOUD

Celeste ponders the perfect gift for her mother all day until bedtime, when “the Wind bl[ows] in and carrie[s] her away.”

The Wind takes her first to the Stars, who are “eagerly awaiting her arrival.” The Stars are portrayed as wispy star clusters that form young women in full skirts floating in the sky. They bedeck her with sparkly shoes, necklace, and crown. Next she meets the Moon, a glowing, white-bearded old man who has “many stories to tell her.” Soon the sky brightens from cool purples into glowing oranges to reveal the Sun. Celeste is warmed by the cup of tea she sips with the queenly Sun. As the Wind returns to take her home, she ponders her encounters and what the various beings have shared with her. Just before the Wind delivers her to her home, Celeste spots the perfect gift for her mother—a field of flowers that sparkle and glow, sure “to warm her mother’s heart.” Debut author Keane has worked for Disney, and her illustrations show the influence. Her choice to use dry pastels softens the dreamy scenes, which pair well with the story of a young girl on a quest. It feels rather like a polished storyboard, and Celeste’s pink cheeks and cupid’s-bow lips have a commercial appeal that completes the ready-for-animation look.

Guaranteed to appeal to fans of Frozen and other princess tales. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3911-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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