Clever fun continues in this delightful series.

HERE COMES THE TOOTH FAIRY CAT

From the Here Comes… series

Mischievous Cat is back (Here Comes Santa Cat, 2014, etc.), this time determined to meet the Tooth Fairy.

After losing a tooth, Cat is disappointed that he didn’t get to meet the Tooth Fairy when she left a coin under his pillow. Never at a loss for ideas, Cat concocts a plan to lure her back. Underwood and Rueda continue their playful repartee between the oh-so-patient narrator and silent Cat, bouncing the narrator’s understated questions off of Cat’s humorous expressions and handheld signs. Cat finds that it’s harder to trick a fairy than he expected. Two packages arrive with a note that suggests, “if you help me with a few deliveries, maybe we can meet. Love, Tooth Fairy.” But: “P.S. You’ll have some help.” When Mouse shows up as Cat’s assistant, Underwood plays the two off each other to great effect. Both animals are full of not-quite-helpful suggestions (“Cat! Mouse can climb into the hole perfectly well without your, uh, help”), and Rueda’s ink-and–colored-pencil illustrations heighten the humor with spot-on expressions and sight gags. Generous white space, expert timing, and minimalist illustrations focus attention on the plentiful, playful banter.

Clever fun continues in this delightful series. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-525-42774-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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