Although inevitably and consciously reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings, this book impresses all on its own with its fine...

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LUCKY DUCKLINGS

Based on events that occurred in Montauk, N.Y., in 2000, this title begins when Mama and her five little ducks go for a walk. A surprising fall leads to a dramatic rescue and this endearing story that’s sure to warm hearts for years to come.

Moore chooses straightforward, rhythmic language that engages young readers. “Mama Duck swam to shore. She hopped out onto the grass. Right behind her came Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin…and last of all…Little Joe.” The family walks through the park, stops for “a bite to eat” and goes on their way. When Mama crosses a storm drain, her little ones follow. Unfortunately the slats in the drain are quite wide, and each duckling falls in. “That could have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t, because…” each time all seems lost for the ducklings, a concerned citizen becomes involved in a step that leads to their eventual rescue. Carpenter uses charcoal and digital media to create illustrations that have a distinctly retro appeal that enhances this classic-feeling tale. From the ducklings’-eye view of alarmed people peering through the grate to the traffic-stopping moment when Mama and her babies are reunited, young ones will be enticed by the events on every page.

Although inevitably and consciously reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings, this book impresses all on its own with its fine design, compelling story, expressive images and gentle environmental message. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-439-44861-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Hee haw.

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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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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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