A bright, buoyant addition to both the “giant pet” and “new sibling” genres.

READ REVIEW

DINO

Some of the challenges of having a big—really big—pet.

“Having an enormous dinosaur in the house can be a bit tricky,” observes the unseen narrator with considerable understatement. Hatching from a gigantic egg in the backyard, little Dino, “so cute and friendly,” soon becomes big enough to scare off both the mail carrier and possible new friends in the park, not to mention to knock things over and to chew on the furniture. Even if his favorite game is fetch, he doesn’t always bring back the ball. Nor (with a deft transition into metaphor) does Dino always put his toys away at day’s end…but bathtime makes him sleepy, and at day’s end, off to bed he goes. Young readers with big dogs or younger sibs will easily relate, though in contrast to the moodier, bright red dino in Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs. series, this one is a good-natured sort, invariably smiling toothily as he romps and stomps through Vaisberg’s minimally detailed, two-toned indoor and outdoor settings, created digitally but with a look that blends watercolor and printmaking. And if one dinosaur in the house is a handful, what’s to do when three more eggs appear in the backyard? The perfect solution: “So we got a bigger house!”

A bright, buoyant addition to both the “giant pet” and “new sibling” genres. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0280-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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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