Frothy and fun, Nancy’s latest adventure feels as fresh as her first appearance.

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FANCY NANCY AND THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY

From the Fancy Nancy series

Given the obvious opportunities, it’s remarkable that it took O’Connor and Glasser eight years to place their pulchritudinous picture-book phenom into a wedding-themed tale—but the wait was worth it.

The setup is simple: Nancy’s uncle is getting married, and the whole family is invited. The fact that the wedding is in two weeks might give readers a clue that it’s not exactly a formal affair, but Nancy immediately assumes that: a) it will be very fancy; and b) she’ll be the flower girl. A tackle box packed into the car along with the luggage provides a second clue to the true nature of the event. Nonetheless, the author and illustrator treat readers to a vision of opulence and elegance as the family arrives at a grand hotel and celebrates in style. Turns out that’s just a dream, though, and the ultimate destination is actually a lakeside cabin. Though Uncle Cal and his fiancee, Dawn, have their own ideas about how to get hitched, Dawn is savvy enough to accept a loan from Nancy that adds a certain over-the-top element to her ensemble and satisfies Nancy’s ever present urge to make the world more beautiful. Appealing, expressive illustrations complement the text’s cheerful tone and help to keep the sweet story from becoming saccharine.

Frothy and fun, Nancy’s latest adventure feels as fresh as her first appearance. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-208319-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Lê’s compelling storyline is propelled forward by Santat’s illustrations, each capturing both the universal longing to...

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  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner

DRAWN TOGETHER

The power of art takes center stage in this cleverly titled story of a Thai-speaking grandfather connecting to his assimilated American grandson.

The title page introduces readers to a sullen-faced Asian boy as he walks up to a door and rings the bell. After a traditional bow of greeting, the grandfather, dressed like Mr. Rogers in a white shirt and red sweater, wordlessly welcomes the grandson inside. In paneled artwork, the two unsuccessfully attempt conversation over dinner, with the grandfather speaking in Thai script and the boy speaking in English. Sitting in the uncomfortable silence that cultural divides create, the awkward boy finally walks away to doodle on paper. He draws a wizard with a wand and a conical red hat. Grandpa, recognizing this creative outlet, fetches a sketchbook and, surprisingly, draws his version of a wizard: a tightly detailed warrior clothed in traditional Thai ceremonial dress. The young boy is amazed, marveling that “we see each other for the first time.” The two begin a battle of imagination, wands and paintbrushes thrashing like swords. One draws in energetic colorful cartoons, the other with fierce black-and-white, precisely brushed drawings. Santat elevates their newfound shared passion into energetic, layered, and complex designs, separate and entwined at the same time. They clash with the dragon that divides them and build a new world together “that even words can’t describe.”

Lê’s compelling storyline is propelled forward by Santat’s illustrations, each capturing both the universal longing to connect and the joy of sharing the creative process. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4847-6760-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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