Good for sharing one on one, this is a pleasant bedtime story for those who don’t already have enough.

READ REVIEW

GOOD NIGHT, FOREST

Another riff on Goodnight Moon, this one is set in a forest.

The opening rhyme sets the scene. “Good morning, forest. / Rise and shine! / Good morning, maple, / Oak and pine.” The text welcomes, in turn, an assemblage of forest flora, fauna, and landscape elements to a new day: deer, bird, stream, flowers, cricket, porcupine, ferns, turtle, and skunk. The creatures play until the end of day, when a hush falls over the forest and it’s time to sleep. The illustrations are eye-catching, with darkly saturated colors applied in painterly strokes that extend off of the page. The images appear as if shellacked or polished on the glossy paper, and they gently exaggerate the features of the animals; all have wide, pop eyes (even the cricket), and the porcupine’s quills and beaver’s buck teeth are humorously hyperbolic. The ending, which features an adult and child inside a lit tent reading a book, is a nice touch. “Time to sleep! / All creatures do. / Good night, forest. / Good night, you.” However, although all the ingredients work well enough together, there is little about the book that helps it to rise above the rest and should be considered only in situations where there is an ache for another bedtime book.

Good for sharing one on one, this is a pleasant bedtime story for those who don’t already have enough. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58536-388-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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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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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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