This will be a raving favorite for fans of books about books as well as older readers who can appreciate the library humor.


Can someone love reading too much? This is the story of how one book lover gets himself into a pickle through his passion for books.

While other rabbits are doing the normal things rabbits do, Ralfy Rabbit’s appetite for books leads him to a life of crime. He loves books so much that he sneaks into his neighbors’ houses to read them, stealing his favorites along the way. When young, white, redheaded Arthur, another bibliophile, notices that his most beloved books have started disappearing from his shelves, Ralfy’s pilfering days are numbered. Arthur wants to stop the book burglar. This rascally rabbit is caught “read-handed” when his next victim is, unfortunately for him, Officer Puddle. The police lineup to identify the culprit is hilarious. Ralfy’s punishment fits the crime, and justice is served with compassion. MacKenzie combines story and illustration with brightness, action, and intrigue, keeping the pace moving while endearing this fluffy burglar to readers. Much of the illustrative humor is geared toward older bookworms, with famous titles adapted to long-eared persuasions: Warren Peas, for example, and The Rabbit with the Dandelion Tattoo, ensuring that adults will stay as engaged as little listeners will.

This will be a raving favorite for fans of books about books as well as older readers who can appreciate the library humor. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68119-220-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

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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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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