A solid Mouse Math entry that will help youngsters just beginning to add and subtract by ones and twos.

ALBERT ADDS UP!

From the Mouse Math series

When Wanda brings home the second of Captain Slime’s adventures from the library, Albert will offer her almost anything to get his paws on it.

Before Wanda even has her coat off, Albert is offering to let her play with “one of [his] favorite toys,” and he runs off to get it. Not letting her finish any of her sentences (which means he always gets the impression that she is saying no), he continually adds items to the ever growing pile: 1+1=2. The offerings grow increasingly wilder and more outlandish, from Albert’s pet worms to the giant birthday gumball (that’s not so much a ball anymore: “[Y]ou can chew it as much as you like before you give it back”). But Wanda is not impressed with any of them and doesn’t want to trade Captain Slime, so Albert slowly subtracts each item. Wanda finally gets a word in edgewise and admits she checked the book out for him all along. Melmon’s bright illustrations capture Albert’s enthusiasm as well as Wanda’s exasperation, and though the two are mice, their mouse hole will seem cozily familiar to readers. A publisher’s letter to parents and educators explains how Albert and Wanda can be an important part of math education for children, while the backmatter provides ways for adults and children to interact mathematically. A Mousy Mess, by Laura Driscoll but also illustrated by Melmon, publishes simultaneously.

A solid Mouse Math entry that will help youngsters just beginning to add and subtract by ones and twos. (Math picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-57565-744-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

Feels like a retread—it may be time to put this series to bed.

YOU DON'T WANT A DRAGON!

If you thought having a unicorn as a pet was hard, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve tried owning a dragon.

The young protagonist of You Don’t Want a Unicorn! (2017) is back, and they clearly haven’t learned their lesson. Now they’ve wished for a pet dragon. As the intrusive narrator is quick to point out, everything about it seems fun at the beginning. However, it’s not long before the doglike dragon starts chasing squirrels, drooling, pooping (ever wondered where charcoal comes from?), scooting its butt across the floor (leaving fire and flames behind), and more. By now, the dragon has grown too huge to keep, so the child (who appears white and also to live alone) wishes it away and settles for a cute little hamster instead. A perfect pet…until it finds a stray magical cupcake. Simple cartoon art and a surfeit of jokes about defecation suggest this book will find an appreciative audience. The dragon/dog equivalences are cute on an initial read, but they may not be strong enough to convince anyone to return. Moreover, a surprising amount of the plot hinges on having read the previous book in this series (it’s the only way readers will know that cupcakes are unicorn poop).

Feels like a retread—it may be time to put this series to bed. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-53580-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more