Simple, child-savvy language and painterly, frame-worthy illustrations that dog-loving adults will appreciate, too.

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THE DOG AND THE DOLPHIN

In this delightful children’s picture book by a veteran educator, a dog’s best friend has fins, not fur.

A lively Irish setter’s frolicsome day at the beach would be even better with a buddy to share it with. On this sunny, lazy day, silky-coated Red is on his own, nosing at seashells, chasing sea gulls and pelicans, and sailboats, small planes and the rolling waves. Red doesn’t have anyone with whom to share his fun. When he sees something leaping in and out of the waves, he’s intrigued—as young readers will be when they turn the next few pages and consider the author’s teasing possibilities, vividly illustrated by Chelich: “A swimmer?” “A shark or swordfish?” “A sea monster?” No, it’s a frisky dolphin who turns out to be as curious about Red as the pup is about him. In no time, the odd couple is frolicking in the water and playing Frisbee “keep away” until the sun goes down. The two new best friends look forward to the next day so that they can do it all over again. Dworkin’s simple, uncloying language is pitch-perfect, as are the beautiful illustrations by gifted artist Chelich, who delights the eye with soft-textured, deftly observed images of animals and objects in a natural setting. Ideal for children pre-K through the third grade, this charming dog-meets-dolphin picture book finds simplicity and heart in both words and illustrations.

Simple, child-savvy language and painterly, frame-worthy illustrations that dog-loving adults will appreciate, too.

Pub Date: June 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1494702540

Page Count: 36

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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