TACKYLOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Tacky the Penguin series

Pomposity gets one on the snoot when Tacky the Penguin (Tacky and the Emperor, 2000, etc.) returns to take the lead in the school play. Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect—penguins all—are staging a play for Mrs. Beakly’s school. Tacky is begrudgingly allowed to join and gets the role of Goldilocks, or, in this case, Tackylocks. Their lines mastered, the penguins take to the stage in front of Mrs. Beakly’s class of little fuzzy and obstreperous penguin chicks. Tackylocks gallumphs his way through the performance: chowing down all the porridge (even when it is too hot or too cold); piling the chairs atop one another to get at the cookie jar on top of the cabinet; taking a great pratfall—“A penguin full of porridge does not fall like a snowflake. ‘Cool!’ cheered the Little Fuzzy Ones”—and then promptly falls asleep in the little bear’s bed. The other penguins go stiffly through the motions, visibly disturbed that not all appears to be going as planned. Then Tacky explodes out of the bed and stages a pillow fight, in which all the Little Fuzzy Ones get active. The play is a crashing success; there is little wonder why, and their names aren’t Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, or Perfect. Lester doesn’t overdue the text, but keeps it at a crisp, droll level, and, as usual, Munsinger’s illustrations catch the right proportion of absurdity and comeuppance. Another victory for oddfellows everywhere. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-22490-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

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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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PANDA KISSES

When a young panda asks each of his parents for a kiss, they give him choices: “A soft kiss? / A sweet kiss? / A sticky bamboo treat kiss?” High or low, in the sun or the rain, from a bunny or a fish? In the end the young panda determines that “There are many kisses that will do! / But the best kiss is—from both of you!” A large font, rhythm and rhyme, picture clues and a low word count per page will help emergent readers succeed. Widdowson’s bright illustrations scatter Chinese elements throughout, adding international flair, and sprinkle other animals exchanging smooches for extra interest. A sweet treat to share with a beginning reader. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-84562-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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