One hopes readers see it as a cautionary tale, not a road map.

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EVA AND SADIE AND THE WORST HAIRCUT EVER!

Inspired by a real-life, viral recording of WNPR reporter Cohen interviewing his daughters about a certain unfortunate hair-cutting incident.

Eva has a mop of wild, crazy curls on top of her head that is out of control. It reaches almost down to her tush. Sadie, Eva’s older sister, tries to force Eva’s hair into a more manageable style, when suddenly she has a brilliant idea—what Eva needs is a haircut! Unfortunately, cutting hair is not as easy as it looks. Each snip brings another and then another. With Eva’s shorn locks in a pile around her feet, Sadie knows the situation is “bad, bad, bad!” Chronicling a behavior that almost every child has indulged in (some to a greater extent than others), Cohen taps into youngsters’ natural curiosity and disastrous inability to predict consequences. Told in the first person from Sadie’s point of view, Sadie’s initial sincere motivation and ultimate horror are both neatly captured. But the overall tone falls flat, even though there are exclamation points galore and emphasized italics to show spunk. Allen’s cartoonish illustrations give the girls bright, expressive movement, almost as big as Eva’s untamed tresses.

One hopes readers see it as a cautionary tale, not a road map. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-224906-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A slim, feel-good story, as light and airy as the rainbows that grace its pages.

NOT QUITE NARWHAL

Being true to yourself means embracing differences and striding (or paddling) fearlessly into the world.

Emerging from a giant clam, baby unicorn Kelp lives among narwhals, believing he’s just not as good as everyone else at swimming, appreciating a squid dinner, or breathing underwater (he sports a glass diving helmet—with a gasket-encircled hole for his horn). Swept close to shore one day, he spies for the first time an adult unicorn and, struck by the resemblance to himself, totters onto solid ground. The “land narwhals” explain to him that they—and he—are unicorns. Kelp’s blissful new life of learning to do special unicorn things amid sparkles and rainbows is punctuated by sadness over the narwhal friends he left behind. Upon returning to his watery home, Kelp learns that the narwhals knew all along that he was actually a unicorn. Following a brief internal tussle over where he truly belongs, Kelp recognizes that he doesn’t have to be just one thing or another and happily unites his friends at the shoreline. As seen in Sima’s soft, digital illustrations, Kelp is adorable, and she evokes both undersea and aboveground environments artfully. The message is an appealing one that could speak to many family situations relating to multiple identities, but the central dilemma is resolved so quickly and easily that there is little room for emotional engagement.

A slim, feel-good story, as light and airy as the rainbows that grace its pages. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6909-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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