THE GREAT GRACIE CHASE

STOP THAT DOG!

Gracie Rose, a charming brown-and-white puppy, loves a quiet house. She loves the kitty sleeping quietly on the windowsill. She sings to the fish when it’s lonely. She helps the bigger dog watch the house. For Gracie, the best home is a quiet one. But one day, the painters who come to paint her kitchen destroy the quiet. Not only are they noisy, but they put her out of the house when she barks at them. Gracie, who has always been a good dog, runs through an open gate and takes off. The whole town runs after her, gathering much as do the folks in "The Gingerbread Boy." Only when everyone, including the painters, drops from exhaustion can Gracie return to her home and find peace and quiet. Unfortunately for Gracie Rose, the reader knows that the dreaded painters will come again. Rylant's story seems deceptively simple, but its prose is beautifully phrased, conversational in tone, and easy to read. Teague outdoes himself here; his oversized drawings are equal partners to Rylant's words. They create narrative, movement, and fun on every page; Gracie often seems ready to leap from the page, as she becomes bigger than life. The small town is an idealized place where a multiethnic community comes together good-humoredly to protect a fellow creature. Humans and animals express a variety of emotions, but Gracie's face and body language as the painter puts her outside take the cake. The strong storyline in text and illustration makes this a fine read-aloud. Gracie Rose deserves a series! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-590-10041-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more