If this is your first friendship book, it will do; if it is your second, pass.

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A DOG CALLED BEAR

Young Lucy wants a dog but winds up with a bear—but she is under the impression it is a dog.

Ever since she took her first breath, Lucy has wanted a dog. She’s collected dog books, bought a dog bed, and planted a garden for the dog to rummage about in, and she will walk and love the dog forever. One day she takes the plunge. She goes looking for a dog. Not at the pound but casually, around the neighborhood. Despite her dog education, Lucy approaches the first creature she finds, a frog. Well, that won’t work because the frog needs a bath and Lucy has only a shower. Then comes a fox—but he can only be a part-time dog. Overhearing these exchanges is a bear reading a newspaper, who suggests to Lucy he is just what she wants. At first all goes well. Then Bear falls asleep for five months. He also digs a lot and eats way too much porridge. And fetching sticks? They feud, and Bear leaves. Instantly, Bear feels lonely. But so too is Lucy; she puts lost posters everywhere looking for Bear. They reunite. All is well. So what’s new? Not much. The minimalist artwork, which depicts the bear rather like a giant hamster and Lucy as a bespectacled white girl, is mildly amusing. But in the crowded arena of friendship books, this does not stand out.

If this is your first friendship book, it will do; if it is your second, pass. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62779-867-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 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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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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