Exploring selfish behavior makes understanding the “why” of sharing easier.

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HOW SELFISH!

From the Dot and Duck series

Fowl and friend fight over toys.

Duo Dot and Duck explored manners in How Rude! (2018). Now they are back, learning another tough childhood lesson. Duck finds a stick, but Dot greedily snatches it away. Duck thinks it should be a flag. Dot thinks it is a sword. The two squabble back and forth, grabbing and yelling. “Flag!” “Sword!” Duck tries to negotiate: “Swap the flag for a rabbit?” But Dot is having none of it: “That’s MY toy!” When Duck suggests sharing, Dot ceremoniously offers a tiny leaf while keeping everything else (including the stick). The pair can’t figure out how to agree until Duck utters the most powerful phrase in all of childhood: “I’m telling on you….” Dot quickly acquiesces, and suddenly Duck is the one with all of the toys. Dot is fuming. How selfish! The staccato shouts that dominate the dialogue-only text and the uncluttered, white backdrop emphasize this grumpy feud. Each page turn shows how quickly an argument can escalate. Luckily, the duo realize they miss each other’s company and are able to find a compromise. The argument itself offers hints as a model for social-emotional conflict resolution, but this book is more likely to be used to spark a deeper discussion rather than to provide solo guidance. Duck is a yellow-feathered duck; Dot is a pink-skinned human.

Exploring selfish behavior makes understanding the “why” of sharing easier. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-71124-447-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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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

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