POLLY MOLLY WOOF WOOF

Is happiness contagious? The answer is a resounding yes (or, perhaps, a woof) in this vivacious, interactive tale that takes a look at joy from a dog’s perspective. When Polly takes her dog Molly to the park, Molly begins to bark with glee. Soon other dogs—fat ones and thin ones, fierce ones and sausage ones—come around sniffing, barking, and frolicking about. The utter elation of the frisky pups affects their various owners, who are overcome with mirth at the sight of this jubilant, canine melee. The text is divided into two parts; one is the central story about the dogs in the park, printed on the upper portion of the pages in oversized letters. The other is a running commentary from the narrator, acting as a subtext to the story and set in a smaller font, encouraging readers to bark and sniff like the dogs. Children can stretch their imaginations and voices as they contemplate how to bark in bouncy, fat, and fierce voices. Hard’s (Save Brave Ted, not reviewed, etc.) comical watercolors of the playful pooches are set against the warm tones of mustard yellow and light umber backgrounds. Her expressive illustrations deftly convey the subtle nuances of canine body language with jaunty tails and perky ears. It is a tossup which part readers will enjoy more: the uproarious, energetic pictures, hilarious story, or the narrator’s comments, which nurture that wonderful capacity of young children for unabashed silliness. Get ready for listeners to be howling and hopping about with abandon during a read-aloud of this high-spirited romp. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0755-X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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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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