Reader, meet Frogs and Dog—you won’t be sorry.

FROG MEETS DOG

From the Frog and Dog series

An early reader for the earliest of readers.

Trasler’s cartoon illustrations heighten the humor of her spare text, which has ample rhymes and assonance to support new decoders. While the title indicates just one frog, readers see that a trio of frogs (each evidently named Frog) is leery when Dog arrives on the scene, eager to play. Dog tries to befriend them, saying, “Hi. / Hi. / Hi,” to each one in turn in speech-balloon text. The illustrations show amphibious rebuffs, and then Dog, defeated, says, “SIGH.” The intrepid pup then tries to “Hop / Hop / Hop” like the frogs, but the result is a “FLOP.” An attempt to emulate the frogs as they “Leap / Leap / Leap” ends with a plunge into a “DEEP” pond. An effort to “Jump / Jump / Jump” results in a “THUMP” on a paper-wasp nest. “Go. / Go. / Go,” say the newly stung frogs. “Oh,” says Dog, slinking off, also bearing signs of several wasp stings. Frog, Frog, and Frog soon rue their words, however, when Bear arrives—whereupon Dog saves them by hurling the paper-wasp nest at Bear. “Ow! / Ow! / Ow!” yells Bear. “WOW!” say the frogs, who now welcome Dog to play with them and help their canine rescuer find success in keeping up with them. Step-by-step backmatter drawing instructions invite readers to draw the frogs, inviting an added layer of engagement with the book.

Reader, meet Frogs and Dog—you won’t be sorry. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-54039-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Acorn/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 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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