An outing to which children (like Peter’s cousin Benjamin Bunny) will listen with “particular attention,” done up in a...

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THE FURTHER TALE OF PETER RABBIT

Showing his age not a whit, nor having lost his appetite, Peter Rabbit eats his way into a pair of (metaphorical) pickles in this droll comeback.

Idly wishing for a change of scenery, Peter falls asleep in the McGregors’ picnic basket—after polishing off a sandwich that’s as big as he is—and wakes up in the far-off Scottish Highlands. Thompson (who also often wakes up in Scotland) doesn’t leave him at loose ends for long, though. Rescued by kilted cousin Finlay McBurney, he spends a cozy night atop a sack of “sheepswool and heather.” The next day he attends a rabbit Highland games (“very boring”) before enjoying a further gustatory encounter with an “unusually large RADISH” hidden behind a “Keep Out” sign. At last he makes his way back home with a “fat little haggis for his mother.” Looking something like a fat little haggis himself and still clad in his customary torn blue jacket, Peter draws the eye in each of Taylor’s verdant, loosely brushed watercolors. Most of the action plays out in the text, but, rendered in Beatrix Potter’s general style with a paler palette and less dramatic tension, the pictures nonetheless create pretty, idyllic tableaus of wildflowers, tartans and dappled greenery.

An outing to which children (like Peter’s cousin Benjamin Bunny) will listen with “particular attention,” done up in a large, decidedly un-Potter-like trim size that’s suitable for sharing in a lap or with a group. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-72326-710-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Warne

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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