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REX FINDS AN EGG

READY-TO-READ LEVEL 1

From the Rex & Oslo series

A charming, challenging, humorous early reader that invites participation.

What might emerge from that strange egg?

Rex, a warthog, and Oslo, a small brown bird, find an egg. They know it must be an egg because, as Rex points out, it is “white and shaped like an egg!” Could the egg belong to a bird? A turtle? A fish? Rex and Oslo consider a whole list of animals that lay eggs. Some are unexpected (“Maybe it is a platypus egg”), some are scary (“I am afraid of crocodiles!”), and others are, hopefully, extinct (“Yikes!” says Oslo on learning that carnivorous dinosaurs laid eggs). With a new guess on each page, there’s plenty of opportunity for readers to think of what else might lay eggs. Simple, cartoonish art is enlivened by mixed-media touches: Rex’s body has a beautiful, touchable-looking gray roughness, the earth beneath their feet is represented by what appears to be photographs of soil, and the dinosaurs imagined by the duo have a lovely, subtle texture. A few of the hypothetical egg-layers are illustrated in a distinct, more realistic style. Some words are likely to be a stretch for beginning readers, but they are funny or interesting—platypus, squishy, extinct—making the difficult vocabulary its own reward. A comic conclusion gives the whole story one more gentle chuckle.

A charming, challenging, humorous early reader that invites participation. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2024

ISBN: 9781665926515

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

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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. 28, 2018

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

Totes adorbs.

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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