MAX & MILO GO TO SLEEP!

From the Max & Milo series

Brothers Max and Milo have totally different approaches to bedtime.

Neat Max is calm and ready to sleep. Messy Milo is too energetic and impatient to fall asleep easily. He wakes Max repeatedly for helpful suggestions, greeting each one with a variation of “good idea, Max.” Then he proceeds to make things worse. “Why don’t you read a book?” is followed by a noisy search for the right title. When the lamp won’t work, Max is awakened again and suggests a flashlight. Milo rigs it in a Rube Goldberg–esque contraption and proceeds to read his book amid loud bursts of laughter. And so it goes. Even with the whirring of a fan and the slurping of water, still Milo can’t sleep. And of course, neither can Max. When he finally loses his temper, it falls on deaf ears—for Milo is sound asleep and Max is left wide awake in a delightfully predictable conclusion. The tale is told visually within cartoon panels of varying sizes and configurations with balloons of brief, simply stated dialogue. The cartoon elements are brightly colored and heavily outlined in black on a purple background. By the way, Max and Milo are totally goofy, big-eyed, orange beavers. Young readers will surely recognize the trials of sibling relationships in the exaggerated comical situations.

Laugh-out-loud fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5143-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Hee haw.

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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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