Fans will definitely want to visit the publisher’s website to check out the extras, while newcomers will either do the same...

PETE THE CAT AND HIS FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS

In his third outing Pete the Cat follows the pattern of his previous appearances: Despite repeated wardrobe malfunctions, he maintains his upbeat attitude and bouncy charm.

This time around the focus is on the buttons on Pete’s favorite shirt, instead of his shoes, and there’s even a bit of math involved. Still, for readers who have met Pete previously there’s not much here that’s new. Pete moves from his cozy chair to a skateboard to the street outside to a surfboard on top of an old-style Volkswagen Beetle. In each spot, for no apparent reason, one button pops off. The repeated refrain asks “Did Pete cry?” and answers “Goodness, no! Buttons come and buttons go.” As a song it’s likely perky, but read aloud, the text can seem tedious and overlong. Still, the brightly colored, childlike paintings and playful typography should keep kids’ attention, and some will also enjoy identifying the large numerals as they count backwards from four to zero. A final twist finds Pete admiring his bellybutton, which will always be with him unlike the “stuff” that “will come and…go,” offering the option of a mildly anti-consumerist message for parents who choose to emphasize it.

Fans will definitely want to visit the publisher’s website to check out the extras, while newcomers will either do the same or let Pete go, depending on their taste. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-211058-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

more