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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Hee haw.

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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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There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow...

THE BOOK HOG

A porcine hoarder of books learns to read—and to share.

The Book Hog’s obsession is clear from the start. Short declarative sentences describe his enthusiasm (“The Book Hog loved books”), catalog the things he likes about the printed page, and eventually reveal his embarrassing secret (“He didn’t know how to read”). While the text is straightforward, plenty of amusing visual details will entertain young listeners. A picture of the Book Hog thumbing through a book while seated on the toilet should induce some giggles. The allusive name of a local bookshop (“Wilbur’s”) as well as the covers of a variety of familiar and much-loved books (including some of the author’s own) offer plenty to pore over. And the fact that the titles become legible only after our hero learns to read is a particularly nice touch. A combination of vignettes, single-page illustrations and double-page spreads that feature Pizzoli’s characteristic style—heavy black outlines, a limited palette of mostly salmon and mint green, and simple shapes—move the plot along briskly. Librarians will appreciate the positive portrayal of Miss Olive, an elephant who welcomes the Book Hog warmly to storytime, though it’s unlikely most will be able to match her superlative level of service.

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow bibliophiles, and the author’s fans will enjoy making another anthropomorphic animal friend. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-03689-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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