In the latest entry in the Giggle Gang series, Duck, Sheep, and Donkey help Dog find its missing toothbrush with unsettling results.
Holding a cup and toothpaste tube, Dog declares, “My toothbrush is missing!” Donkey innocently asks, “What does a toothbrush look like?” Each description (bristles, long handle, red handle) prompts Donkey to respond with, “Weird. I feel like I’ve seen it…” and to produce something similar—though inappropriate and silly, such as a cat (bristly whiskers), a broom, and an eggbeater with a short red handle. When Donkey resolves to give up trying to help and goes back to scrubbing its hoofs with, what else, a red toothbrush labeled “DOG,” Sheep concludes, “I think you need a new toothbrush” to Duck’s like-minded “Quack.” In companion title My Friends Make Me Happy! Sheep is the protagonist, asking its “FRIENDS!” if they can guess what makes him “HAPPY?” A hint that the answer starts with the letter “F” produces some silly responses: “FISH!” “FANS!” and “TURNIPS!” Sheep finally reveals the obvious answer, “It’s FRIENDS!” then laments, “My friends make me CRAZY!” (This usage is not redressed.) Bold colors and black-outlined cartoon digital art with repetitive balloon dialogue keep the focus on the simple language. An appended three-step short outline to encourage reading is good advice.
Pedagogically sound but mean-spirited. (Early reader. 6-8)