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

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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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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