Nonjudgmental encouragement for new readers—even if they flub up. (Early reader. 5-8)

READ REVIEW

FLUBBY IS NOT A GOOD PET!

From the Flubby series

Meet Flubby, a quintessential cat.

Flubby, a rotund gray-and white cat with stubby legs, seems unimpressed by his owner’s expectations of pet behavior. He won’t sing like Kim’s bird, catch like Sam’s dog, or jump like Jill’s frog. Flubby doesn’t even run when it rains. But when thunder pounds—“KA-BOOM”—cat and kid need each other. Morris limits her palette to muted shades of brown, blue, gray, and green with an occasional spot of orange. Short, declarative sentences follow a predictable pattern and complement the spare illustrations. Cartoon panels opposite full-page pictures move the simple story along. In one memorable double-page spread, the action—of the child throwing a ball while Flubby watches and then rolls over to sleep—moves readers’ eyes left to right across the spread in three stacked, horizontal panels. A full range of emotions, including happiness, frustration, boredom, concern, disappointment, fear, is conveyed with subtle changes in posture and eyes. The human characters are a multiracial mix. Kim presents Asian; Sam appears black; Jill seems white. Flubby’s owner is not gendered and has longish brown hair and brown skin. Series companion Flubby Will NOT Play with That! publishes simultaneously.

Nonjudgmental encouragement for new readers—even if they flub up. (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-524-78776-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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 lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more