An enabling alternative to or companion for Stuart Murphy’s Double the Ducks, illustrated by Valeria Petrone (2003), in the...

ALBERT DOUBLES THE FUN

From the Mouse Math series

This new entry in the Mouse Math series sends Albert to the fair, where there are plenty of opportunities to double up.

His friend Leo out when Albert comes calling, the little mouse heads to the fair with big sister Wanda and buys two maps (one for Leo), rides the Ferris wheel four times—twice for himself and then twice more for Leo—wins the pie-eating contest by chowing down on three slices and then three more, and plays the ring toss until he wins the eight tokens needed for two packages of five Robo-Rat action figures. At each stop the arithmetical doubling is depicted below the simple cartoon illustrations both with number sentences and iconic images of such items as tickets or pie slices. Suggestions for discussion topics and enrichment activities at the end are addressed to educators, but young readers should have no trouble themselves re-creating the paper-towel–tube ring toss that Albert and Leo set up after discovering that they had both been to the fair and now have an oversupply of Robo-Rats. Simultaneously publishing are Albert Helps Out (using coins) and Where’s Albert? (skip counting), both also by May, and Bravo, Albert! (patterns), by Lori Haskins Houran.

An enabling alternative to or companion for Stuart Murphy’s Double the Ducks, illustrated by Valeria Petrone (2003), in the venerable MathStart series. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-57565-835-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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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THIS BOOK IS GRAY

A gray character tries to write an all-gray book.

The six primary and secondary colors are building a rainbow, each contributing the hue of their own body, and Gray feels forlorn and left out because rainbows contain no gray. So Gray—who, like the other characters, has a solid, triangular body, a doodle-style face, and stick limbs—sets off alone to create “the GRAYest book ever.” His book inside a book shows a peaceful gray cliff house near a gray sea with gentle whitecaps; his three gray characters—hippo, wolf, kitten—wait for their arc to begin. But then the primaries arrive and call the gray scene “dismal, bleak, and gloomy.” The secondaries show up too, and soon everyone’s overrunning Gray’s creation. When Gray refuses to let White and Black participate, astute readers will note the flaw: White and black (the colors) had already been included in the early all-gray spreads. Ironically, Gray’s book within a book displays calm, passable art while the metabook’s unsubtle illustrations and sloppy design make for cramped and crowded pages that are too busy to hold visual focus. The speech-bubble dialogue’s snappy enough (Blue calls people “dude,” and there are puns). A convoluted moral muddles the core artistic question—whether a whole book can be gray—and instead highlights a trite message about working together.

Low grade. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4340-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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