Children will enjoy the spirit of the chase (and an easily spotted black cat on each spread) in this pleasant introduction...

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ONE BRIGHT RING

When a girl sees a diamond ring fall through a hole in a man’s jacket pocket, she catches it on a bounce and pulls her mom along city streets in an attempt to return it.

 There’s a charming counting theme afoot. Four babies and five frisky dogs present obstacles to “one brave girl” in her pursuit of that bouquet-bearing young man. She loses sight of him but makes a deduction and enters a park’s rose garden. She “tiptoes eight soundless steps… // …while the man checks his pockets / nine frantic times.” As the desperate gent “sheds ten small tears,” the girl, hidden behind a hedge, cannily drops the lost ring “right under his nose.” Géser’s digitally augmented, naïve watercolors depict pale, generic vehicles and simple, cartoonish faces. City grays and browns contrast with bursts of red: the girl’s coat, a stop sign, roses and even the young man’s hair. Mission accomplished, the girl leads her mom on once more. In the final double-page spread, she stands in a bakery, holding a cupcake and gazing upward. A fancy three-tiered wedding cake is decorated with roses—and topped with a bride and groom who look an awful lot like the newly engaged couple smiling through the window.

Children will enjoy the spirit of the chase (and an easily spotted black cat on each spread) in this pleasant introduction to courtship conventions. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9279-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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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

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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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