Best read for its informational content.

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FREDDY THE FROGCASTER AND THE TERRIBLE TORNADO

From the Freddy the Frogcaster series

Freddy the Frogcaster learns about tornadoes.

Aspiring meteorologist Freddy has been practicing his weather forecasting. Every weekend he visits Frog News Network to rehearse in front of the cameras. When his weather models predict strong storms, he lets Sally Croaker and Polly Woggins, frogcasters who work for FNN, know what is coming. With the possibility of tornadoes in the near future for the town of Lilypad, Tad Polar, famous storm chaser, comes to town—and he takes Freddy with him in his specially equipped storm-chasing van. They see a tornado and let the local news teams know. The storm is scary, and it does some damage, but everyone survives thanks to Freddy and Tad. Dean’s fourth Freddy the Frogcaster title packs a lot of information on tornado formation and tornado safety into a thin story. The clear, simple language of the story and the seven pages of illustrated aftermatter make this a worthy addition to larger library collections. With Cox’s bright, expressive illustrations of bug-eyed, gape-mouthed frogs, it may even allay some storm fears.

Best read for its informational content. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62157-469-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Regnery Kids

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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