There’s nothing too scary, no message to navigate—just a sweet story, well done.

READ REVIEW

PANDA PANTS

A little panda has decided that he wants pants, and he’s going to tell his father exactly why.

Pants have pockets, pants are warm, pants are soft, pants would impress—but father panda is not convinced that this little panda will be the first panda to wear pants. While they walk and talk, a gray-and-black–spotted tail is always near; is someone following them? Passing a garden, the little panda notices a scarecrow wearing—pants!—which find their way onto the little panda, who runs to catch up with his father. Suddenly, a snow leopard jumps out! With some quick thinking, a watermelon, and teamwork with little animals nearby, the little panda’s pants turn out to be very useful—and impressive—in foiling the snow leopard with a melon to the noggin. Excitement over, the little panda gives his pants to a rabbit. When his father asks why, he explains that he doesn’t want pants. He wants shoes. Davies’ story will be amusingly familiar to anyone who’s gone head-to-head with determined little ones who are convinced they have the best idea ever right now. Hanson’s illustrations are impressive, double-page spreads of lush watercolor bamboo alternating with white-backgrounded vignettes for faster-paced dialogue. Hanson has a knack for drawing ridiculously cute, expressive animals, and she does so here, with the facial expressions reflecting the dialogue wonderfully.

There’s nothing too scary, no message to navigate—just a sweet story, well done. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-53576-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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