A powerfully, even divinely told slice of life.

WOUNDED FALCONS

The unfortunate wounding of a falcon strengthens the bonds between two young boys in Buitrago and Yockteng’s latest collaboration.

A falcon springs up from a tree branch, soaring amid blue skies and white clouds. The rock comes from below and strikes the falcon’s wing. The falcon falls to the ground below. Meanwhile, Adrián and Santiago walk away from a bad day at school. Adrián sports a black eye and a clenched fist, and Santiago, who “never has any problems,” offers companionship. The friends go to an abandoned lot, where Santiago reads and Adrián climbs a tree, from which he spots the injured falcon. Concerned, Adrián decides to nurse it back to health. At the dinner table, he asks for advice from his mom, who instead lets Adrián know that she’s heard about the bad day at school and his father “will give you what you deserve.” No luck there. Still, Adrián looks over the falcon, taking the bird to the “old man who cures bones” and feeding and caring for the bird with the help of his friend. Adrián’s time with the falcon stirs something in him, something that Santiago has known was in him all along: a big heart. In Amado’s translation, Mexico City–based Buitrago’s words maintain a detached aloofness, masquerading the story’s hints of darkness and brushes with pain in a straightforward yet lyrical tone. Overall, the text’s cinematic in scope but intimate in its compassion. Colombian illustrator Yockteng’s vivid artwork depicts a world in layers, with splatters of colors and intriguing details in the backgrounds that urge a second look. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A powerfully, even divinely told slice of life. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77306-456-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 28

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more