Another satisfying adventure for Ladybug Girl’s many fans.

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LADYBUG GIRL AND THE RESCUE DOGS

Ladybug Girl Lulu and her dog, Bingo, help with a dog adoption event in this latest entry in the long-running series about a spunky girl who wears a ladybug costume wherever she goes.

When Ladybug Girl and her mom are shopping at a farmers market, they meet members of a dog rescue group with several dogs ready for new homes. Ladybug Girl wants to take all the dogs home with her, but her mom explains that one dog is best for their family. Ladybug Girl helps out by carrying water to the dogs, and then she recruits her friends Bumblebee Boy and Grasshopper Girl to help by playing with the dogs and drawing more attention to the adoption event. They create some excitement by marching through the market with the dogs in a pet parade, leading to the adoption of one of the dogs. The story skillfully distills a complex issue into a situation that younger children can grasp, with concrete assistance from the Bug Squad kids, using their own ideas. Perky watercolor and ink illustrations show the charming children and cavorting canines from a variety of perspectives. Ladybug Girl and her family are white, as is Bumblebee boy; Grasshopper Girl and the woman from the animal shelter are black.

Another satisfying adventure for Ladybug Girl’s many fans. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-18640-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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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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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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