NEVER SAY BOO TO A GOOSE!

Unable to resist testing his mother’s admonition not to taunt the goose, one little kitten embarks on his disobedient quest, but first he must find out which of the barnyard animals actually is the goose. His first trial finds him surrounded by hens and their chicks. He attempts to test his mother’s instructions, calling out “Boo, goose!” but the chickens laugh at him: “Cluck, cluck, cluck. Silly kitten. We’re not geese, we’re hens.” Many more cases of mistaken identity follow as the kitten travels around the farm. He meets the donkey and some ducks, has a brief encounter with the dog, and finally, when he is just about to give up, he meets up with the goose. Thrilled at his success, he calls out “Boo!” The little kitten soon finds out that he should have listened to his mother’s instructions as one very large, very angry goose chases him. Snuggled back with his mother, he claims that he will never attempt to taunt the goose again, but the look in his button eyes suggest that this kitten may still have some mischief in him. Stitched fabric collages illustrate this simple tale and the production gives them an almost three-dimensional quality. Buttons function as eyes and seed beads add bubbles to the water in the pond, making this a visually pleasing as well as useful exploration of farm animals and the sounds that they make. A honking good time. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-84148-255-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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LITTLE QUACK

The odyssey of ducklings venturing forth from their comfortable nests into the big world resonates with children and has been a well-traveled subject of many works geared toward young readers. Thompson’s (Mouse’s First Valentine, 2002, etc.) latest effort will certainly appeal to youngsters despite its lack of originality. Mama Duck is coaxing her five hesitant ducklings (Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle, and Little Quack) into the water one at a time. A “quack-u-lator” at the bottom of the pages adds an interesting mathematical element, helping children count along as ducklings jump into the pond. Mama encourages each nervous duckling to “paddle on the water with me . . . you can do it . . . I know you can.” Overcoming their initial fright, the first four ducklings “splish, splash, sploosh, and splosh” happily into the water. The simple tale’s climax occurs when Little Quack wavers at the water’s edge. “Could he do it? Did he dare?” Not to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say all five ducklings swim off “proud as can be.” In his debut effort, Anderson’s bright and colorful illustrations are lively and captivating. The five adorable ducklings embark on this rite of passage sporting unique looks ranging from Mohawk-type head feathers to orange spots and flowered hair adornments. A pleasant enough take on an old standby. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-84723-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2002

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