Young dreamers and aviators (and piglets) will respond with delight.



What does it take to get a pig aloft?

Sibling pigs Henry and Henrietta of Pigs and a Blanket (2016) are back, with Henry in control of the blanket they learned to share in their previous outing (it makes a great superhero cape). He’s determined to be the first pig to fly. When his taped-on cardboard wings result in a crash, Henrietta suggests they fly a kite…which Henry rides for crash No. 2. Oscillating-fan jet pack? There’s a third crash, and Henrietta wonders if she will need a helmet if she continues to help. Balloons? Feathers? Trampoline? No flight in sight. Henry gives up. But his sister, who had been trying to make a King Kong movie before helping Henry try to fly, has an imaginative idea to bring his dream to life. Turns out pigs can fly pretty high if they have the right special effects. Burks’ enthusiastic tale of porcine perseverance is told entirely in dialogue between its pink, porky principals. Bright colors and wide-eyed cartoon characters in the illustrations have a pleasantly textured, chalky look and extend and complement the text, easily communicating Henry’s excitement.

Young dreamers and aviators (and piglets) will respond with delight. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2524-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...


Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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