A light-spirited visual romp and potential inspiration for fashion-minded youth.

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MITFORD AT THE HOLLYWOOD ZOO

Fashion’s favorite giraffe comes to the rescue again.

Fashion illustrator Robertson presents another wild adventure for his bespectacled giraffe protagonist, Mitford, in this follow-up to Mitford at the Fashion Zoo (2015, with Kimberly Gieske). Here, lovable Mitford, “the tallest fashion assistant ever,” is enlisted by Panda Summers, now editor-in-chief at Cover magazine (and clearly drawn to resemble Anna Wintour), to fix a “fashion disaster” emerging in LA. Where Mitford’s original Fashion Week tale poked fun at fashion luminaries of New York, his cross-country trek to LA makes for open season on Hollywood starlets preparing for the Academy Zoowards. Clearly playing on Rihanna, “celebrity singer” Rhinoana, a curvy rhino clad in a “one-of-a-kind haute couture cotton-candy dress,” experiences a massive wardrobe malfunction when about to be photographed by the golden-furred Annie Labovitz. Mitford’s quick thinking saves the day, allowing Robertson to do what he does best: illustrate hugely imaginative garments—in this case, a vibrant, flowing dress made entirely of abstractly drawn, bowlike butterflies. Later, Mitford has occasion to assist both Meryl Sheep and Shark Whaleberg with some creative attire. Mostly using markers, black pen, and some paint, Robertson effectively sketches caricatures of well-known figures while capturing all the verve of the hilarious scenes he concocts.

A light-spirited visual romp and potential inspiration for fashion-minded youth. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-451-47542-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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