Kids who are looking forward to a snow day may give Rabbit’s chant a try, but hopefully, they will know when to stop.

READ REVIEW

RABBIT'S SNOW DANCE

A long-tailed rabbit who wants a nibble of the highest, tastiest leaves uses his special snow song in the summertime, despite the protests of the other animals.

The Bruchacs’ Iroquois pourquoi tale tells how selfish Rabbit, who is short on patience, simply cannot wait for natural snow, no matter that the other forest denizens are not yet ready for winter. Drum in hand, he sings as he dances in a circle: “I will make it snow, AZIKANAPO!” (It won’t take much coaching before listeners join in with this and other infectious refrains.) Like the Energizer Bunny, Rabbit just keeps going; by the time he ceases his drumming, only the top of the tallest tree is left sticking above the snow. Exhausted, Rabbit curls up on this branch and sleeps through the night and the hot sunshine of the next day, which melts all the snow. Stepping from his treetop, Rabbit gets a terrible surprise when he falls to the ground, his long bushy tail catching on each branch he passes and making the first pussy willows. And that is why rabbits now have short tails. Newman’s watercolor, gouache and ink illustrations are an interesting mix of styles. Some foregrounds appear to be painted in a pointillist manner, and some of the animals are almost manga-esque, lacking any shading in their sharp outlines and flat colors.

Kids who are looking forward to a snow day may give Rabbit’s chant a try, but hopefully, they will know when to stop. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3270-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more