Offbeat and winning.

READ REVIEW

THIS ORQ. (HE CAVE BOY.)

From the Orq series

A boy-and-his-mammoth story.

Modern boys have faithful dogs, and cave boy Orq, in a furry-looking, one-shoulder green tunic, has a woolly mammoth named Woma. But unlike a dog, Woma grows and grows and keeps on growing, until he becomes a big hairy problem for Orq’s mother and the family’s cave home. He stinks and sheds, and he isn’t house trained. She orders Woma out! The heartbroken Orq, whose other pet pals are a family of weird-looking birds (striped blue and gray, and with a red crest on the adult), comes up with a plan: Teach Woma tricks, and Mother will love him. Orq attempts to teach Woma to fetch, speak and roll over; all have comically disastrous results. One day, while Orq is out pretending to be a big-game hunter, a saber-toothed tiger creeps near. Sabertooth loves Orq but like a glutton loves his lunch. When Woma leaps to the rescue, he earns Mother’s undying affection. Elliott’s text, written with the awkward simplicity of movie “Indians” and cavemen, is hilariously effective and also apt to tickle and be understood by very young readers: “This Orq. He live in cave. He carry club. He cave boy.” Nichols’ digitally colored pencil illustrations are simple and slyly humorous.

Offbeat and winning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62091-521-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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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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