A charming friendship story and great setup for future books.


From the Big Foot & Little Foot series , Vol. 1

Curious about the Big Wide World outside his Sasquatch community, Hugo makes a friend who is of it.

Sasquatch Hugo’s bedroom is inside a cave and possesses the charming feature of a small stream running through it that he can sail his little toy boat on. It’s cool, but he yearns to see the Big Wide World. When he asks his smart friend Gigi if a Sasquatch might become a sailor, she says it’s possible but would be difficult—the primary rule of their people is to not be seen by Humans. Then, in everyone’s favorite Hide and Go Sneak class, which is held outside, a Human appears; Hugo laughs at the sight, drawing Human attention in a taboo-breaking mistake. Shortly after, Hugo’s toy boat floats into the cave with a Human toy—soon, it’s facilitating a pen-pal–type relationship that’s derailed when Hugo confesses to being a Sasquatch and Human Boone, a budding cryptozoologist, doesn’t believe him. How Hugo and Boone resolve this misapprehension and become friends in a joint search for the Ogopogo concludes this series opener. Potter keeps the third-person narrative tightly focused on Hugo’s perspective, and the details she uses to flesh out the Sasquatch world are delightfully playful. Sala’s drawings depict a homey Sasquatch cavern community, Boone as a freckled, white boy, and Hugo as a hairily benevolent behemoth.

A charming friendship story and great setup for future books. (final art unseen) (Fantasy. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2859-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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Hee haw.

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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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Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development.


From the McKellar Math series

A child who insists on having MORE of everything gets MORE than she can handle.

Demanding young Moxie Jo is delighted to discover that pushing the button on a stick she finds in the yard doubles anything she points to. Unfortunately, when she points to her puppy, Max, the button gets stuck—and in no time one dog has become two, then four, then eight, then….Readers familiar with the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” or Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona will know how this is going to go, and Masse obliges by filling up succeeding scenes with burgeoning hordes of cute yellow puppies enthusiastically making a shambles of the house. McKellar puts an arithmetical spin on the crisis—“The number of pups exponentially grew: / They each multiplied times a factor of 2!” When clumsy little brother Clark inadvertently intervenes, Moxie Jo is left wiser about her real needs (mostly). An appended section uses lemons to show how exponential doubling quickly leads to really big numbers. Stuart J. Murphy’s Double the Ducks (illustrated by Valeria Petrone, 2002) in the MathStart series explores doubling from a broader perspective and includes more backmatter to encourage further study, but this outing adds some messaging: Moxie Jo’s change of perspective may give children with sharing issues food for thought. She and her family are White; her friends are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-101-93386-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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