Agreeably silly stuff in the classic noodlehead vein.

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BOB AND TOM

A couple of turkeys do a whole lot of nothing on the farm.

Bob and Tom are both tom turkeys, and they’re good friends. They’re also…not the sharpest tools in the shed, so to speak. In a sequence of time-stamped episodes, the turkeys get soaked in the rain (“ ‘It’s wet,’ Tom noticed. ‘It’s the water,’ Bob explained”), ponder the contents of their heads, conspire to swipe “a suit that swims” from the clothesline so they can take a dip in the pond, and convince themselves that they’ve lost their names. These absurd little episodes are illustrated with detailed mixed-media pictures that depict the friends as plump, bumbling turkeys (who, oddly, seem to have navels) amid other farm animals and people going about their days in the background. Certain scenes seem a bit overworked, with characters blending in a bit too much with the saturated setting, but the humor will help engage readers. Some of the humor is so understated it may take a while to sink in, as when Tom explains to a cow that their names are “small” and have “a round thing in the middle…like a doughnut.” “What kind of doughnut?” the cow asks. Children will ask their caregivers why they are snickering and be thus ushered into the world of Cazet’s dry wit.

Agreeably silly stuff in the classic noodlehead vein. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6140-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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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