This will be comforting for many readers.

THE TIDE

A beloved grandfather’s memories ebb and flow.

A small child muses that Grandpa “sometimes…forgets things” and “sometimes…gets confused.” Still, while the narrator, Mommy, and Grandpa are at the beach, they engage in favorite activities together and watch the tide come in. The child is comforted to recall also having needed help in forgetful moments and also occasionally having behaved in perplexing ways. The child’s loving, easy forgiveness of Grandpa’s differences leads to understanding and acceptance of his predicament even though “sometimes, I get upset.” The child deals with these feelings—even the unsettling idea that Grandpa might forget his grandchild—by thinking about how scary forgetfulness must be. The author’s use of the tide as a metaphor for the way Grandpa’s memories softly drift in and out works persuasively. The simple strategies the protagonist employs to cope with the changes in Grandpa’s mental state are helpfully and naturally incorporated into the narrative. The reassuring, satisfying ending allows that loving family closeness can still prevail, particularly in dementia’s earlier stages. Artwork is loose and appealing, and the colorful, refreshing seashore scenes are inviting. Protagonist and family appear white; other persons in the background are depicted as ethnically and physically diverse.

This will be comforting for many readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-141-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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