This fur-raising one-to-10-and-back-again counting book perfectly captures the rollicking, manic joy of dogs off the leash.

TWO DOGS ON A TRIKE

Careening canine countdowns have never been so much fun!

An inadvertently opened gate beckons, and an adventurous spotted pooch clad in striped leggings and slick boots makes a stealthy getaway with an obliging trike-riding poodle. However, the stern, ever vigilant family cat is not caught unawares. Quickly donning running gear, the determinedly resourceful feline is soon on the tail of not one, not two, but ultimately nine thrill-seeking, barking fugitives. Pizza on a train, busting a groove on a ferry—no chance to party is overlooked. Discarding in turn every mode of pursuit along the way, from skates to helicopter, the intrepid calico finally faces down the drooling mob inside a—spaceship! The panicked dogs backtrack until the original troublemaker is finally locked behind bars. The End—or is it? One paw lick later, two cats on a trike take off with a skateboarding mouse in hot pursuit….Trolleys, trains, ferries, hot air balloons, and more fondly evoke the energy of P.D. Eastman’s Go, Dog. Go! (1961). Snyder’s spare, snappy rhymes give Rosenthal all the fuel needed to hilariously execute eye-popping images of raucous canine chaos. From a guitar-playing dachshund in a cone of shame to a boat-driving pug, this tongue-lolling wild bunch can really get it on.

This fur-raising one-to-10-and-back-again counting book perfectly captures the rollicking, manic joy of dogs off the leash. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3891-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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