While there is a nugget of appeal in the illustrations of the endearing puppy, this effort falls short in its intended...

READ REVIEW

NUGGET ON TOP OF THE WORLD

In this Swiss import, a young dachshund puppy named Nugget explores the world outside his home, comparing his own small stature with larger animals and structures.

Nugget is only 10 months old, and he feels small and rather powerless, his view of the world limited to gazing up at large tables, towering trees, and sky-high buildings. As he ventures out on his own into the city, Nugget longs to see a great vista from a high perspective. With the help of his friends, the puppy finds his way to an enormous bridge where he looks down on the river and tall buildings and discovers “what it’s like to be big.” In the tradition of the traveler who gratefully returns home with an enlightened consciousness, Nugget finds his way back to his own cozy house and decides being a small and pampered pet is not so bad after all. While his quest to expand his worldview from a higher perspective has some philosophical validity, the illustrations do not show Nugget’s expansive view, and the story doesn’t convey his transformative experience. The text is a classic example of the need to show rather than tell, as the dog’s experiences and feelings are described in rather dry prose that fails to make Nugget a compelling character. The subject of relative perspective is explored with much greater success in You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant (2014).

While there is a nugget of appeal in the illustrations of the endearing puppy, this effort falls short in its intended thematic journey. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4242-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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