An optional purchase that can be used effectively in groups in schools or libraries.

READ REVIEW

WHEN A TIGER COMES TO DINNER

What do tigers like to do at dinner parties?

A cautious mouse is getting ready to entertain a tiger and thinks that the key to its success is in a book entitled: How to Impress a Tiger. The mouse feels quite prepared, in spite of some early nervousness, and it puts a record on the turntable (wait—have young readers seen this device before?), mixes punch, and festoons its home with party decorations. When the tiger enters, the mouse roars, thinking “ ‘Rooooaaaarrrr!’ means ‘hello,’ ” and does as the book suggests: “When you say ‘Hello,’ put your hands up like claws and show your teeth. That is the polite greeting.” Unfortunately, the friendly tiger at the door is quite scared and screams in large letters: “AHHHHHHH!” She’s ready to turn tail, but the mouse immediately works to save the situation, consulting the manual once again and finding that now, somehow, the advice is just the opposite. The diligent host has been correct about the peanut-butter sandwiches but soon learns as well that greeting the tiger nicely and giving her the chance to play checkers and wear a polka-dot party hat will make her your friend for life. Heavy black outlines and flat blocks of color show off the mouse’s cozy home to advantage in what look like digital illustrations. The book’s tongue-in-cheek premise provides read-aloud fun and opportunities for some good roars.

An optional purchase that can be used effectively in groups in schools or libraries. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-256829-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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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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Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice.

LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG

Is it a book about aspirations or the backstory for the board game?

Chickapig is defined as “an animal hybrid that is half-chicken and half-pig” and is depicted in yellow, two-legged chick shape with pink pig snout and ears. Young Joe Chickapig lives on a farm that was his grandfather’s dream, but it’s getting Joe down. He dreams of adventure but needs the “courage to follow his heart. / But how could he do it? How could he start?” In a bedtime story, Joe’s mother shares the influential characters that helped Joe’s sailor grandfather “follow his heart against the tide.” It seems that “Grandpa had heard a story told / Of a great big bear who broke the mold. / The bear was tired of striking fear”—so he became a forest doctor and a friend to all. And the bear’s inspiration? “A mouse who went to space.” The mouse, in turn, found hope in a “fierce young dragon” who joined a rock band. And coming full circle, the dragon found courage from a Chickapig warrior who “tired of shields and swords to wield” and established a farm. Chickapig game fans will appreciate this fanciful rhyming tale illustrated in attention-grabbing colors, but readers coming to it cold will note a distinct absence of plot. Mouse and dragon present female; all others are male.

Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7944-4452-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Printers Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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