Fun and topical.

READ REVIEW

BEAR ALERT

From the Breaking News series

Curious bears trigger a media frenzy.

It all starts when Jean Louis, the host of the kids’ show Our Furry Planet, pokes a sleeping bear. The bear rears up, startled. Jean Louis flees, and the bear’s not far behind. He and a pal perch atop the Our Furry Planet truck gleefully, with arms in the air as if riding a roller coaster. Across the bottom of every double-page spread, updates appear in a blue ribbon, just like on the TV news channels. Except here, the updates are dire while the bears are clearly no threat. As people run screaming through the streets, the bears calmly take in the sights. When two terrified kids abandon their toy vehicles, the bears happily jump on. (Mom’s so excited to be on television she doesn’t notice a thing.) In hats and human clothes, the bears go unnoticed at a department store. (Hysterically, the male bear’s outfit resembles Paddington’s, while the female’s dress looks an awful lot like the Berenstains’ Mother Bear’s.) Outside, the bears make a beeline for an ice cream truck, inadvertently interfering with robbers making a getaway. In an instant, the bears go from fugitives to media darlings. Biedrzycki delivers a genuine message with a light touch. His Adobe Photoshop illustrations are bold and playful, appropriately reminiscent of vintage Hanna-Barbera and a good match for the slapstick story.

Fun and topical. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-663-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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