Perfectly paced, accessible, and appealing, this glimpse into a far-off habitat will entertain young listeners and, perhaps,...

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LITTLE TIGERS

Pushed out of their current territory by human encroachment, a mother tiger and her offspring search for a new home.

The lightly anthropomorphized animals (they express emotions and have the power of speech but otherwise look and behave like real tigers) consider a number of options. Sera, the female cub, offers the first suggestion. Unfortunately, although the cave behind a waterfall is well hidden, it’s too wet. Puli is next to propose an idea, but the tall tree he has them climb is equally unsuitable: “it’s a very long way to fall for a tiger,” observes their mother. Two further possibilities are rejected before the family finds a spot that Mother Tiger deems just right. The conversational tone and familiarly patterned narrative contrast pleasantly with the tangled jungle setting. Weaver’s smudgy charcoal illustrations, digitally colored, are lovely and softly luminous. Warm shades of orange enhance the tigers’ shaggy coats; effective use of white space combined with hues that lean toward yellow and brown effectively evoke the landscape and other animals. The author’s focus on parent-child relationships, evident in her earlier books, Little Whale (2018) and Little One (2016), infuses this tale as well. The explicit focus on the threats created by human activities adds tension and drama. An author’s note includes information about Bengal tigers.

Perfectly paced, accessible, and appealing, this glimpse into a far-off habitat will entertain young listeners and, perhaps, awaken their empathy. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68263-110-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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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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