Silly fun for fans of whimsy if not for budding bird-watchers

OTTO BLOTTER, BIRD SPOTTER

Otto belongs to a family of obsessed bird-watchers so besotted with birds that they have turned their home into an elaborate and fanciful bird blind.

Otto, however, prefers exploring the world to sitting at home in the blind. One day he finds a massive bird footprint, an even larger pile of “poo,” and finally an unusual little bird, best described as a yellow blob. Otto scoops it up and keeps it at home in spite of a family ban on pets. The bird begins to grow rapidly, and Otto is unable to conceal it any longer. Oddly, the bird can camouflage its burgeoning self in any setting, and so the pair continues on its travels, unobserved by the public. When a trip to the zoo makes the bird sad, Otto realizes that it is missing its family. Constructing “the tallest bird-spotting tower ever built,” Otto’s family soon locates the missing bird parents, who are large yellow blobs, similar to their offspring. Bird-watching theme notwithstanding, this wacky, visually exuberant offering is not hampered by connections to the real world; although many birds, real and imaginary, are pictured, not one is ever identified. Carter’s multihued illustrations have an intriguing amount of detail and make the most of varied perspectives, helping to compensate for the rather lackluster plot. Otto and his family present white.

Silly fun for fans of whimsy if not for budding bird-watchers . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7762-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 28

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?

more