Perfect for young giraffes—or children—who stand out in the very best of ways and just need to know they’re all right...

GERALDINE

Meet Geraldine, a boisterous, dramatic giraffe with a lanky, expressive neck, who is miserable about leaving her giraffe city for a town where she will be the only giraffe.

Rarely do picture books featuring life transitions—such as a new baby, moving, or the first day of school—depict them with such humor, poignancy, and believability. Hilarious yet heartwarming illustrations depict Geraldine in melodramatic poses, trying to run away and breaking her belongings to avoid packing. When she arrives at her new school (populated only by humans), her neck sticks out no matter what, foiling her attempts to play hide-and-seek, swim in the pool, and just blend in. That is, until she meets Cassie—a young girl of color who has her own distinctive traits that make her stand out, too. Together, they build trust, friendship, and confidence. With more than a little drama, lots of heart, and the most expressive neck in all of children’s literature, Geraldine learns to embrace her own uniqueness and that of her new friend, and soon her classmates do, too. Lilly’s bright, classic watercolors, brimming with whimsy and charm, create an immersive world full of details big and small. Readers will fall in love with Geraldine in this stellar debut.

Perfect for young giraffes—or children—who stand out in the very best of ways and just need to know they’re all right exactly how they are . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-359-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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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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