This pivotal childhood milestone is often defined by fear, but this variant is for young brooders everywhere.

READ REVIEW

BIKE ON, BEAR!

Bear can do anything he puts his mind to—except ride a bike.

Bear is a whiz at facts and figures. He can do a backward pike somersault on the balance beam. But every time he tries to ride his bike, even with training wheels, he falls or crashes. Bear just can’t do it. The situation worsens when a park opens in town, and Bear can’t join his friends on the new bike path, which arbitrarily and unkindly bans training wheels. (This is helpful to the plot, though.) Everyone is having fun without him. So Bear does what any desperate, lumpy little fellow like him should do—he goes to the library in search of answers. A book tells him how to ride a bike in four easy steps. The last step is the most important: don’t think about it too much. But Bear can’t stop thinking about it. He mulls it over and worries until everything becomes a disaster, even his triple back-paw-spring. Luckily, a sudden meteorological disaster (sharp readers will spot a hint in Koala’s newspaper) helps Bear spring into action and overcome his fears—without stopping to think! Bear’s supportive friends and family, along with Litten’s warm-hued, cozy illustrations, drape the story in comfort, even during Bear’s many tumbles and spills.

This pivotal childhood milestone is often defined by fear, but this variant is for young brooders everywhere. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-0506-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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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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