Sure to “beak” readers’ interest.

INTERRUPTING COW AND THE CHICKEN CROSSING THE ROAD

From the Interrupting Cow series

A cow searches for a new audience and finds a friend.

In this sequel to Interrupting Cow (2020), the eponymous bovine’s chickens have come home to roost, so to speak, as none of the other cows want to hear her tired, interruption-filled joke anymore. The cows almost immediately race away, “kicking up dirt and irritation.” Their departure warns the other barnyard animals, who quickly follow before Interrupting Cow gets too close. Even Owl, who is usually kind, skirts around the cow’s punchline. Lonely and a little sad, Interrupting Cow walks and walks until she comes to an “endless gray road.” On the other side of the road, Rooster keeps trying to cross, but cars, trucks, and tractors scare him off. Interrupting Cow brazenly crosses to Rooster’s side and butts into his situation. As she helps him cross, the two bond over their sense of humor, falling down into helpless giggles. Yolen tackles yet another classic inane joke and infuses its subject with heart and humor. With a total vocabulary of around 250 words and their variants, this sequel is slightly more advanced than its predecessor. But, with at most 19 lines per double-page spread, the text remains accessible to emerging readers. Dreidemy’s full-color cartoon illustrations add context clues. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-12-inch double-page spreads viewed at 76% actual size.)

Sure to “beak” readers’ interest. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-8160-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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Hee haw.

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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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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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