Nevertheless, good fun to share in a lap or with a group.

PRAIRIE CHICKEN LITTLE

Mary McBlicken is one panicky prairie chicken.

While out on the grasslands one day, Mary the prairie chicken hears a terrible rumbling and grumbling. Sure it’s a stampede, she runs away lickety-split to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan; they’ll know what to do. Along her pell-mell flight, she meets in turn Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog, Beau Grabbit the jackrabbit and June Spark the meadowlark, and Mary succeeds in freaking them all out. Everyone runs until they meet Slim Brody the coyote. He says he knows a shortcut to the ranch. A few quick turns lead to a suspicious-looking tunnel. The friends know something’s up, and their squawking attack brings Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan running. The two (horse and Chihuahua) chase away that nasty coyote …and the whole crew discover what the rumbling and grumbling really was: Mary’s stomach! It’s supper time. Hopkins’ prairie take on “Chicken Little” is made storytime perfect by Cole’s characteristically hysterical, watercolor-and–colored-pencil cartoons of goggle-eyed critters. It’s also a nice twist that Mary and her friends save themselves from the coyote rather than ending up as lunch or requiring outside assistance. The prairie animals (some not mentioned in the text) make this a nice addition to cross-curricular libraries, though it’s too bad there is no additional information as a backmatter bonus.

Nevertheless, good fun to share in a lap or with a group. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-694-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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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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