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



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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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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The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long.

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Bet you can’t make this goose smile, no matter how hard you try.

TV personality Kimmel’s first foray into picture books presents a feathered grump with a scowl that is proof against any kind of foolery: Try putting a chicken on her head, dressing her as a moose, or even trucking in a snail pizza—this goose won’t crack. Breaking now and again into verse, he challenges readers to give it a try in a foil mirror: “Cluck like a chicken / moo like a cow / be doofy, be goofy / any way you know how”—and sure enough, eventually a grin bursts out to replace the grimace despite a multipage struggle to hold it in, and off prances the goose in a pair of (gender-bending) tighty whities. Yes, she’s become “a SILLY goose (thanks to you),” the narrator proclaims, and what’s more, “YOU are a silly kid.” A hand-lettered narrative in block printing big enough to take up most of the space accompanies thick-lined cartoon views of a goosey glare that dares readers to crank up the volume, and the last page turn reveals a final tweak that may add a few grown-up voices to the younger chorus of giggles.

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-70775-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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