A reassuring tale for young travelers, with a special appeal for dog lovers.




From the Lindie Lou Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A puppy takes an airplane trip to meet her new family in this first installment of a children’s series.

With her soft brown fur, floppy ears, and big paws, Lindie Lou is an adorable puppy, one of five in a litter. All are well taken care of in St. Louis by their Caucasian caretakers, Joe and Sherry, who set up a cozy Puppy Playground for them in the (unused) garage with blankets, toys, and a large doggy bed. Playtime, naps, and a few escapades keep Lindie Lou busy, such as a puppy play date at the City Museum with children from a homeless shelter who aren’t allowed to have pets. At 8 weeks old, the puppies are eligible for adoption and Joe and Sherry would love to keep Lindie Lou. But she’s been promised to Sherry’s sister, Kate, and “a promise is a promise.” Finally, it’s time for Lindie Lou’s biggest adventure yet, a flight to “Emerald City” (Seattle). A fellow canine traveler helps explain the scary parts, reassuring Lindie Lou, telling her all about her new home, and getting her excited about flying in an airplane: “I’ve been on many amazing journeys and you will too. This is only the beginning.” Additional material in the book, aimed at kids ages 4 to 8, includes a quiz, fun facts, and a St. Louis calendar of events. Bender (Harvest Time, 2018, etc.) appeals to young canine lovers by bringing them into Lindie Lou’s point of view. The writing can be bland, but in describing the puppy’s wide-eyed encounters with new places, the volume deftly shows how her anxieties often parallel those of children experiencing the unfamiliar. Lindie Lou learns to overcome her fears through a series of steps that kids, too, can follow: “Stop, look around, and listen. Think about what you can do. Do something if you need to. If nothing can be done, stay calm and think of something good.” The images by debut illustrator Willows are bright and cartoonlike in depicting animals, but helpfully realistic in showing such unfamiliar details as the airport’s luggage carousel.

A reassuring tale for young travelers, with a special appeal for dog lovers.

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-943493-24-1

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Pina Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2018

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.


Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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