Should encourage dialogic reading and discussion—and hugs.

WITH LOVE, GRANDMA

A hedgehog grandmother takes a monthlong vacation with friends while continually staying in touch with her beloved grandchild through a volume of correspondence.

Taking a break from the usual routine of “Camp Grandma,” this active grandparent embarks on an adventurous excursion enjoying the woods, hiking, participating in painting classes, kayaking, visiting the beach, and even finding a “super bookstore.” Taking time out for herself is important, but Grandma continually thinks of her little one and relays a series of endearing messages in letters and postcards that arrive almost daily in her grandchild’s mailbox. Each begins with a term of endearment for the child and a line or two about what new experience Grandma is enjoying, always linking it to something the two, elder and youngster, did together in the past or will do once again when “Camp Grandma” resumes. “Dear Doodlebug, I took a painting lesson outside today,” leads to the assurance that “We’ll paint together at CAMP GRANDMA. Let’s walk to the park and paint whatever we see.” Although it is chronological, the story is not linear, asking readers to glean it from the specifics of each letter or note. Soft pencil and delicate watercolors show an engaging, vigorous grandmother enjoying her outings with smiling fellow forest animals while complementary scenes lovingly portray her memories of days spent with her grandchild.

Should encourage dialogic reading and discussion—and hugs. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58536-942-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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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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A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.

MAX AND THE TAG-ALONG MOON

After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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