An intergenerational lark for readers with a high tolerance for foolishness.

READ REVIEW

GRAMPA, WILL YOU TELL ME A STORY?

Syndicated cartoonist Crane teams up with Young to create an adventurous shaggy dog story.

When grandson Nelson asks for a story, Grampa begins. “There once was this animal…you know, the hump one?” Nelson replies, “A camel?” Grampa answers, to Nelson’s astonishment, “That’s right, a humpback whale!” The story continues in this manner as the two characters imagine a thoroughly nonsensical yarn filled with Grampa’s surprise responses to the questions he’s posed. The arc of the story becomes increasingly absurd, to the vexation of the boy. “What? But Grampa….” The whale is not swimming in the ocean, as Nelson assumes, but a swimming pool; a black-and-white bird that can’t fly is not a penguin but an ostrich; the guy that works at the pool is not the lifeguard but the hot dog vendor. Nelson begins to think Grampa is deaf, “What? Can you even hear me?” Crane’s signature drawings feature white-haired, bespectacled grandparents and their blond grandson (all are white) in oversized pages to depict the ludicrous cumulative venture Grampa keeps fabricating, often placing Nelson and Grampa within the scenarios Grampa cooks up. Though the bright, young boy loves his Grampa, this kind of creative storytelling can be ridiculous. Kids will identify with Nelson as his exasperation brings him to the more sensible Gramma for another story. What will hers entail?

An intergenerational lark for readers with a high tolerance for foolishness. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-936097-15-9

Page Count: 33

Publisher: Baobab Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 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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