An offbeat look at modern-day grannies that is bound to elicit a chuckle or two.

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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GRANNIES

An encyclopedic, humorous study of grannies, expressed through a series of questions that most readers would have never even thought of posing.

Even though this book has heavy stock pages and thick board covers, it is anything but a board book for babies. Indeed, certain levels of maturity and sophistication are required of readers to fully appreciate this whimsical approach to grannies. Questions such as “How flexible are grannies?”; “Why do grannies travel on buses?”; and “…exactly how old are grannies?” are answered with cartoon illustrations and clever humor. For example, in the first scenario, a granny is depicted performing some admirably flexible exercises indeed. The second is answered with an acknowledgment that they are often seen on buses and an honest “But nobody knows where they go.” In the third, three spry-looking grannies pose as the text states: “Some grannies are 58…some are 69…and some are even 87!” Originally published in French, the text in Hahn’s translation ably incorporates rhyme (“slippers” / “flippers”) and puns (“And when it’s time to rest, they slip on some Grans N’ Roses…”). Grannies are depicted in all sorts of outfits, hairdos, and hair colors, and a list of granny nicknames includes some ethnically specific ones, but all are white as the paper they are printed on.

An offbeat look at modern-day grannies that is bound to elicit a chuckle or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-776572-43-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Sincere and wholehearted.

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I PROMISE

The NBA star offers a poem that encourages curiosity, integrity, compassion, courage, and self-forgiveness.

James makes his debut as a children’s author with a motivational poem touting life habits that children should strive for. In the first-person narration, he provides young readers with foundational self-esteem encouragement layered within basketball descriptions: “I promise to run full court and show up each time / to get right back up and let my magic shine.” While the verse is nothing particularly artful, it is heartfelt, and in her illustrations, Mata offers attention-grabbing illustrations of a diverse and enthusiastic group of children. Scenes vary, including classrooms hung with student artwork, an asphalt playground where kids jump double Dutch, and a gym populated with pint-sized basketball players, all clearly part of one bustling neighborhood. Her artistry brings black and brown joy to the forefront of each page. These children evince equal joy in learning and in play. One particularly touching double-page spread depicts two vignettes of a pair of black children, possibly siblings; in one, they cuddle comfortably together, and in the other, the older gives the younger a playful noogie. Adults will appreciate the closing checklist of promises, which emphasize active engagement with school. A closing note very generally introduces principles that underlie the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School (in Akron, Ohio). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 15% of actual size.)

Sincere and wholehearted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-297106-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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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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