Fluffy and shallow but sweet, with an exuberant effect, from the sparking glitter on the cover to the cast party with...

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PRETTY MINNIE IN HOLLYWOOD

A white French girl named Françoise takes her tiny dog along when she accompanies her fashion-designer mother to Hollywood to work on a movie in this second series outing (Pretty Minnie in Paris, 2014).

Minnie is a pampered teacup Chihuahua who enjoys an opulent lifestyle with Françoise and her mother in their Paris apartment that has a view of the Eiffel Tower. They pack matching outfits for their trip, fly together on the plane (with the dog in her own seat), and enjoy first-class accommodations and sightseeing in Hollywood. Françoise and Minnie visit the movie set, where they meet a snarly pink poodle with a starring role in the film. The poodle acts up and is conveniently fired, so Minnie gets her part in the movie. The slight plot by bestselling author Steel is told in polished but predictable prose, with a perky, sparkly tone matched by the jewel-toned, oversized illustrations. Valiant’s detailed illustrations give Minnie an engaging personality that’s hard to resist, and young readers will enjoy Minnie’s tiny costumes and fancy accessories. The hotel staff and cast and crew of the movie include people of different ethnicities, including the film’s African-American director.

Fluffy and shallow but sweet, with an exuberant effect, from the sparking glitter on the cover to the cast party with “Pupcake Cupcakes” at the end. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-53755-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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