A very funny and fine tribute to a very young friendship.

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TIGER AND BADGER

Tiger and Badger are very young—maybe 4—and they are best friends, doing as best friends do.

When Badger finds Tiger in her chair, eating her orange slices, Badger points out with impeccable logic that she was in that chair, before. Then Badger and Tiger (and Bad Monkey, a stuffie of uncertain provenance) want a Popsicle. But there is only one Popsicle. Badger eats all of it. Tiger is furious at her, and Bad Monkey gets thrown up into a tree, leading to this classic exchange: “ ‘You’re mean,’ says Tiger. ‘You ate the whole thing.’ ‘No, you’re mean,’ says Badger. ‘You threw Bad Monkey up high.’ ‘No, you’re mean,’ says Tiger. ‘You made me throw Bad Monkey.’ / ‘Fine.’ ” However, with the help of a spatula, some books, and that chair, the friends eventually cooperate. Bad Monkey is rescued, and then there is an episode of pushing, tail-pulling, and a lot of yelling. Then there are funny faces and laughing. They are best friends. The pictures, in watercolor, acrylic, and pencil, are a mosaic of tiny, exquisite details of leaves, branches, fruit, flowers, birds, and toys in a slightly surreal landscape of hills and trees and sunlight. Tiger’s whiskers seem always to be blowing in the wind, and Badger exudes a comfortable, if pointy-nosed, solidity.

A very funny and fine tribute to a very young friendship. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6604-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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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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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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