This fantasy field trip is one kids are better off skipping.

READ REVIEW

SHARK DOG AND THE SCHOOL TRIP RESCUE!

From the Shark Dog series

Shark Dog enlivens a field trip to the great outdoors.

Ms. Ablett invites the child narrator’s father along since he’s a famous explorer, and “it made sense for Shark Dog to join the fun” as well. The trip to the woods starts off as any might, the racially diverse students using magnifying glasses to examine creepy-crawlies and record their finds. But Shark Dog’s arrival at a pond full of identical-looking “frogs and toads” puts an end to the normalcy. And after the kids see tons of flora and fauna on the nature trail, lunch brings rain and mud, which is Shark Dog’s favorite! Afterward, the students pair up to find “something interesting,” many of them bringing their finds back to the group. (Shark Dog brings a branch still attached to a portion of trunk, in the hollow of which sits a perturbed owl.) But the big find (thanks to Shark Dog’s nose) is a bear cub trapped under a fallen tree. The group works together to free it (nothing is said about mama bear) and follows Shark Dog’s sniffer back to the bus. Adamson’s cartoony pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are bright, cheery, and busy, but the outdoor etiquette shown in them is not always spot-on (kids feed a squirrel from their lunches, for example), and the round white eyes of the wildlife give them a rather manic look. The narrator, Dad, and Ms. Ablett all present white.

This fantasy field trip is one kids are better off skipping. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-245718-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave...

RUFUS GOES TO SCHOOL

Rufus Leroy Williams III is determined to learn how to read, but can he convince Principal Lipid to allow a pig in school?

Rufus makes the best of his illiteracy by imagining his own stories to go with the pictures in his favorite book, but still he longs to read. The tiny pig knows just how to solve his problem, though: With a backpack, he can go to school. But Principal Lipid seems to think it takes more than a backpack to attend school—if you are a pig, that is, since pigs are sure to wreak all sorts of havoc in school: track mud, start food fights, etc. Rufus decides a lunchbox is just the ticket, but the principal feels differently. Maybe a blanket for naptime? Or promises not to engage in specific behaviors? Nope. But the real necessary items were with Rufus all along—a book and the desire to learn to read it. Gorbachev’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations emphasize Rufus’ small size, making both his desire and the principal’s rejection seem that much larger. Parents and teachers beware: The humorous pages of imagined, naughty behavior may be more likely to catch children’ eyes than Rufus’ earnestly good behavior.

But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave him room to dream.” (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0416-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more