Foxy fun.



The coast is clear! It’s a perfect chance for a colony of bunnies to dance, play, and sing.

Brief rhyming phrases lay the groundwork for the bunnies’ activities. “Everybunny dance! // And clap your paws, / and twist and twirl, / and shake your tail, / and wiggle and whirl.” After dancing, the bunnies pull out their instruments: “Everybunny play! // And bang a drum, / and play the flute, / and blow a horn, / a-tooty-toot!” Just as the bunnies are singing, the villain appears: a fox! “Everybunny run!” As the bunnies hide, they watch the fox dance, play a clarinet, and perform a somersault. But the fox is lonely and sad without an audience. Surprise! Everybunny claps and invites the fox to join in with their fun. The attractive and creative illustrations paint the bunnies to match the text’s exuberance. Some are in brown or red polka dots, some sport bow ties, and some wear ballet shoes or tutus. The fox makes a dramatic entrance with just its vivid red head spreading menacingly across two pages. The page composition as a whole is effective, with good page turns and focal points and with some words highlighted. There are several opportunities for using the book with children, in addition to reading the story. It could be a challenging counting book (there are as many as 24 or 26 bunnies per page) and/or a game for storytime with kids acting it out (with a tolerant adult).

Foxy fun. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9822-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.


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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