This may do the trick for youngsters who have a Peter of their own depending on them to practice their own manners.

READ REVIEW

PERFECTLY POLITE PENGUINS

When a rude penguin sees the effect of her bad manners, she changes her ways…most of the time.

Observant readers will quickly see that the words and the illustrations don’t match up on the first few pages. “Penguins ALWAYS wait their turn” shows one small penguin, sporting a blue beanie, pushing to the front of the line: “Me first!” And that same penguin is not too keen on sharing her train, though the other penguins’ play is positively saccharine with sharing and politeness (“How kind!”). With a turn of the page, readers are introduced to Polly, who sticks out her tongue and giggles at readers when she’s prompted to “say hello.” Polly’s manners are always a little rough, but especially so at dinnertime and especially when fish is on the menu. As the pages turn, readers will notice more and more penguins going to Polly’s dark side and the chaos increasing. But then Polly discovers Peter, a baby penguin, hiding from all the noise, and suddenly Polly sees the value of manners. Now she is always polite...well, almost always. Trukhan’s penguins are a delight, each with an accessory to tell them apart, with wings, motion lines, and sometimes eyebrows expressing emotion. The illustrations and backgrounds are simple, keeping the focus on the manners (or lack thereof) on display.

This may do the trick for youngsters who have a Peter of their own depending on them to practice their own manners. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-146-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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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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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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