Lovely and quiet, this is a book to savor again and again.

READ REVIEW

MING AND HER POPPY

Following Ming Goes to School (2016), the little girl is back for another subtle journey through the year’s seasons.

“Ming and Poppy know their way” and travel back and forth on foot, by bus, from school, through the park, to restaurants, on noisy streets, and in quiet places. Ming’s name is Chinese; Poppy could be Asian or white, allowing readers to imagine various family structures. In any case, their loving relationship is evident in the sketchy line-and-watercolor illustrations showing a little pale-skinned girl with black pigtails that stick straight out and a tall pleasant-looking gentleman, often holding hands or sitting close together, enjoying ice cream or doughnuts. The seasons are never mentioned in the spare, poetic text but are noted in the clothing, as Ming’s red school jumper is covered up by her coat and hat; boots replace shoes, which return; and finally she’s in blue shorts and sandals. Red leaves drop, and new spring flowers bloom to give further proof of the time of year. The little girl is mostly carefree, enjoying her friends and her grandpa, but there is a hint of childhood strife in the line “by sticks, by stones, / by names that sting,” when three children are shown whispering to one another and Ming plays alone on the sidewalk as Poppy looks sadly on.

Lovely and quiet, this is a book to savor again and again. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-2943-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

RUBY FINDS A WORRY

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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