The sentiments are certainly sweet, but this vein may be just about played out.

READ REVIEW

WISH

Another in Dodd’s series of diminutive picture books that celebrate the loving bond between an adult and a child.

On the cover are the two characters, a wolf and a cub (their very stylized outlines could also be huskies or malamutes). The narrative voice is that of a parent or caregiver, and it relates, in rhyme, how the child was wished for and how much the narrator wants only good things for the small one. The adult longs to teach and to share and is even delighted by the knowledge that the little one will grow up and away and will eventually teach the parent. The soft-edged illustrations are stylized and simple, primarily in black, gray, white, and blue, liberally splashed with silver foil. The two wolves gambol in the leafy or snowy woods, and the last wish given is that all the cub’s wishes come true. The book’s small, square size makes it nice to hold, and the illustrations allow room for imagination, but the rhyme is thick and clunky: “Side by side, we’ll walk the world. / We’ll make a super team! // And troubles shared are never / quite as bad as they first seem.” Happy, which publishes simultaneously, is done in browns and oranges and gold foil, with an adult owl and an owlet, and the same kind of heavy rhyme with a few more clichés.

The sentiments are certainly sweet, but this vein may be just about played out. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8009-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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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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A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.

MAX AND THE TAG-ALONG MOON

After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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