Published by the park’s conservancy, this satisfying story will make an appealing souvenir and can also serve as an...

READ REVIEW

YOSEMITE'S SONGSTER

ONE COYOTE'S STORY

A tender story of separation and return celebrates Yosemite National Park and its coyotes.

After a frightening avalanche separates a coyote pair one spring morning, the female heads home to spend a lonely 36 hours without her mate before they are finally reunited. Wadsworth’s lyrical text provides a word-picture of the park’s cabins and campgrounds, its sights and sounds, and the coyote’s daily routine. She checks the trash cans, hunts for mice and squirrels, rests and waits. Finally, when she howls in the evening, her mate returns her call. The text respects these animals’ wildness, with no attribution of human characteristics (although readers and listeners will surely imagine their emotions). A concluding author’s note explains more about coyotes in the park and around the country. San Souci’s painterly watercolors are set in frames opposite the text except at the beginning and end, where the pair enter and leave their story in full-bleed images. He includes other creatures mentioned: a great horned owl, a pair of skunks and, of course, the human visitors. And he shows some of Yosemite’s famed natural splendors: Mirror Lake, the Merced River, Half Dome and El Capitan.

Published by the park’s conservancy, this satisfying story will make an appealing souvenir and can also serve as an introduction to a common but not well-loved species. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-930238-34-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

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?

Spires’ understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle...

THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING

Making things is difficult work. Readers will recognize the stages of this young heroine’s experience as she struggles to realize her vision.

First comes anticipation. The artist/engineer is spotted jauntily pulling a wagonload of junkyard treasures. Accompanied by her trusty canine companion, she begins drawing plans and building an assemblage. The narration has a breezy tone: “[S]he makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” The colorful caricatures and creations contrast with the digital black outlines on a white background that depict an urban neighborhood. Intermittent blue-gray panels break up the white expanses on selected pages showing sequential actions. When the first piece doesn’t turn out as desired, the protagonist tries again, hoping to achieve magnificence. A model of persistence, she tries many adjustments; the vocabulary alone offers constructive behaviors: she “tinkers,” “wrenches,” “fiddles,” “examines,” “stares” and “tweaks.” Such hard work, however, combines with disappointing results, eventually leading to frustration, anger and injury. Explosive emotions are followed by defeat, portrayed with a small font and scaled-down figures. When the dog, whose expressions have humorously mirrored his owner’s through each phase, retrieves his leash, the resulting stroll serves them well. A fresh perspective brings renewed enthusiasm and—spoiler alert—a most magnificent scooter sidecar for a loyal assistant.

Spires’ understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle characterization for maximum delight. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55453-704-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more