AUNTIE CLAUS

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Santa Claus’s big sister is back for a third holiday adventure with her great-niece Sophie (Auntie Claus, 1999). This time Sophie has won the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy in her dancing school’s Christmas Eve performance, and Auntie Claus decides to move the whole North Pole operation to New York City so she won’t miss Sophie’s solo. As New York grows colder and snowier, Sophie interacts with an adult Sugar Plum Fairy from a professional ballet company, and there are frantic plot twists and turns involving too-small and missing ballet tutus. In a rushed conclusion, Auntie Claus, Sophie and the dancing-school kids fly back to the North Pole and perform the ballet there. As is often the case with later entries in a series, the bloom is off the (Christmas red) rose with this overblown effort. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5485-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2009

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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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DREAM SNOW

The venerable and prolific Carle (Hello, Red Fox, 1998, etc.) offers a quiet Christmas story with a little music at the end. A farmer lives alone on a small farm with so few animals that he calls them One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Oh, he also has a tree named Tree. One night near Christmas he falls asleep in his favorite chair after his peppermint tea, and dreams that he is covered in a white blanket. On successive pages, One the horse, Two the Cow, Three the sheep, and so on are each covered in a snowflake blanket, accomplished by an acetate page of flakes and an amorphous shape that when turned reveals the animal. When the farmer awakes and finds it has snowed for real, he dresses himself warmly, decorates Tree, and strews gifts for all five animals under it. When he shouts “Merry Christmas to all!” he pushes a button that children can push, producing a lovely Yuletide tinkle. The pictures are in Carle’s trademark richly colored and textured collages that capture the snowy magic of Christmas. Adults may be charmed to see that Carle dedicates the book to Barry Moser, who modeled for the farmer, although from the photo on the back cover Carle and Moser could pass for brothers with their shiny pates and neat white beards. Cotton candy. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-399-23579-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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