Enchanting for dog lovers.

READ REVIEW

MISS MOON

WISE WORDS FROM A DOG GOVERNESS

Twenty succinct bits of advice for living are accompanied by whimsical oil paintings of an English governess and her canine charges.

The book begins with a tongue-in-cheek introduction, advising readers that Miss Wilhelmina Moon, dog governess, is sharing her “most important lessons for raising happy, healthy, well-mannered pooches—and people.” This is followed by 20 attractively laid-out double-page spreads. Most of them feature a one-sentence “lesson” on the verso, framed with wallpaperlike borders, and a humorous painting on the recto; two print the “lesson” on a doily placed over an illustration that stretches entirely across the two pages. A wide variety of dog breeds are accurately portrayed in a post-impressionist style—except for the anthropomorphic details that cannot help but charm viewers. (All the dogs in “Never stop learning” wear glasses, and two carry pens in their mouths.) And what a talent Hill has for that mea culpa doggy look! The fair, red-haired governess—impeccable in her long, white-collared dress—always appears kind, unflappable, and dignified. There is no human diversity here, as Miss Moon is the only person, but her equal poise at roadster-driving and archery along with more-traditional feminine activities provides a strong role model. The “lessons” range from timeworn adages to redundant phrases, but (speaking of timeworn phrases) every picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Enchanting for dog lovers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-10191-793-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE DAY YOU BEGIN

School-age children encounter and overcome feelings of difference from their peers in the latest picture book from Woodson.

This nonlinear story centers on Angelina, with big curly hair and brown skin, as she begins the school year with a class share-out of summer travels. Text and illustrations effectively work together to convey her feelings of otherness as she reflects on her own summer spent at home: “What good is this / when others were flying,” she ponders while leaning out her city window forlornly watching birds fly past to seemingly faraway places. López’s incorporation of a ruler for a door, table, and tree into the illustrations creatively extends the metaphor of measuring up to others. Three other children—Rigoberto, a recent immigrant from Venezuela; a presumably Korean girl with her “too strange” lunch of kimchi, meat, and rice; and a lonely white boy in what seems to be a suburb—experience more-direct teasing for their outsider status. A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride in spite of the taunting. This reassuring, lyrical book feels like a big hug from a wise aunt as she imparts the wisdom of the world in order to calm trepidatious young children: One of these things is not like the other, and that is actually what makes all the difference.

A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-24653-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more