WHO NEEDS BIRDS WHEN DOGS CAN FLY?

A dog’s day from a dog’s own perspective is the unifying theme of this collection of 13 mostly non-rhyming poems by Robinson (Halloween, not reviewed, etc.). The humorous verses describe a dog’s favorite activities, such as going for a walk, lolling about on the couch, and getting into mischief while the people are gone, as well as more mundane aspects of life: getting up in the morning, putting doggy-slime streaks on all the windows, and hogging the bed at night. (There are no poems about watering the fire hydrant or leaving surprises on the carpet.) Although at first reading, the poems may seem a little simplistic, a little bouncy, perhaps a tad too earnest, on reflection, the thoughtful reader realizes that the poet has captured the essence of dogdom: simple, bouncy, earnest, enthusiastic. Smith (Perfect Harmony, p. 888, etc.) provides photos of four children and their dogs for the illustrations, with photos of each pair taken in their own home environment. A rather loud, in-your-face design (continuing the canine personality approach) includes brilliantly colored backgrounds and a variety of type treatments, including a deliberately disobedient typeface that refuses to stand still in regimented upright fashion for the poems themselves. (author’s note, photographer’s note) (Poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-525-47019-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 23

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?

THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more