It’s hard not to love this one—just like an indulgent grandpa.

WHEN A GRANDPA SAYS "I LOVE YOU"

 “When a Grandpa says ‘I love you,’ / he doesn’t always say it / in the regular way. / That would be just a little too…regular.”

Wood and Bell’s follow-up to When a Dad Says “I Love You” (2013) features anthropomorphic grandpa-kid pairs of animals demonstrating all the various unregular ways grandpas can say “I love you.” They might try to teach you to wink, though it usually only results in a blink. They might repeatedly teach you to tie your shoes. He might say it “by buying you / a double-scoop ice-cream cone / on a hot summer day. / And then by helping you eat it / if it melts too fast.” He might teach you to throw a special pitch or pretend to love your tea at a tea party. He might teach you to play old-fashioned games like checkers or try to learn a newfangled game on the computer. “But most of all, a grandpa says / ‘I love you’ just by being… // Your grandpa!” This appealing—but free of saccharine—exploration of that special intergenerational relationship would be great for Grandparents Day or just an “I love you” storytime. Bell’s softly smudgy, crosshatched pencil illustrations show animal grandpas and kids in a bounty of recognizable, everyday situations.

It’s hard not to love this one—just like an indulgent grandpa. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-689-81512-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Hee haw.

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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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