The beginning of a beautiful gastropod friendship; similar to watching the protagonists in action in real life.

READ REVIEW

SNAIL AND SLUG

A snail with a Tardis-like shell proves that her heart is just as big.

Snail and Slug are wilting in the summery heat near a small stream. After Slug bemoans her lack of a shell (or even a pocket!), Snail invites her inside for a cold drink. “Oh, don’t worry, my house is bigger than it looks.” This proves to be an understatement, as Snail has a full kitchen (with a dishwasher), living room, two bedrooms, a library, a cellar, and an attic. During this tour, Slug and Snail get better acquainted: both lost their spouses to predators; Snail is a good reader; Slug is a good cook and likes to make up songs. And on a picnic together, Slug proves her resourcefulness and friendship. In the end, as readers will already have predicted, Snail offers to share her home with Slug. Cazet’s mixed-media illustrations in a pastel palette portray the quiet domesticity of Snail’s life and abode. The two friends look similar, Snail blue and slightly larger and with longer antennae than pink Slug. Four Eyes the bully banana slug may have readers combing their gardens, but Four Eyes’ obvious agony under Slug’s salt treatment may turn them off that time-honored pest-control method.

The beginning of a beautiful gastropod friendship; similar to watching the protagonists in action in real life. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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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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