A giggle-inducing romp about making mud while the sun shines.



From the Scribbles and Ink series

Scribbles and Ink fumble a contest entry, with amusing results.

Scribbles, a cat with scribble-style fur, and Ink, a mouse with clean edges that sometimes drip ink, aspire to win a competition—“Draw a Dino! Win a Prize!”—so they can go to Mudsplash Mountain, the muddiest place on Earth. Scribbles takes a big blue pencil and draws something with sharp teeth and a pointy tail, but, oh dear: “Behold its bony thighs and feathery body!” says Ink, naming it a “chick-a-saurus.” Ink, gripping a paintbrush twice his height, approaches the task conceptually, painting an egg’s red outline. Suddenly, it cracks, and a roundish, vaguely dino-ish monster emerges, querying “Mommy?” of both artists (a cheerfully postmodern nod to P.D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother?). “Nope. Sorry, dude,” says Scribbles. The outsized baby monster finds its mother—whose identity is hilarious—and Scribbles and Ink get a surprising mud frolic without reaching Mudsplash Mountain. Three hue sets and visual styles work well together: the mobile, black bodies of Scribbles and Ink themselves, the casual blue and red lines of their simple artwork, and the gleamingly realistic detail of their pencil and paintbrush. The pages are slightly cramped, given all the motion, but then again, Long’s playing with cartoon conventions and frame breaks.

A giggle-inducing romp about making mud while the sun shines. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60905-351-2

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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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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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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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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