FROGGY GOES TO BED

The effervescent Froggy is up to usual tricks in his eighth appearance (Froggy Plays Soccer, 1999, etc.). After a hard day of play, he may be “too pooped to pop.” But coming wide awake at the magic words “It's time for bed!,” he runs his patient mother through a string of delaying tactics, from a snack to a search for a “lost” toy. Each activity, of course, is accompanied by Froggy’s classic sound effects: lots of “flop, flop, flop[s],” with an occasional “zwoop” and a “glug, glug, glug” as well. Remkiewicz (Rabbit’s Pajama Party, 1999, etc.) depicts the tug-of-war in broadly drawn cartoon scenes, many of which feature mother pointing one way as the pajama-clad Froggy hops another—but it's all plainly more friendly ritual than battle. Mother at last sits down to read a bedtime story and, naturally, falls asleep, “snoring like a horse.” Froggy gives her a good-night nuzzle and drifts off. It's a jolly take on a theme as evergreen as the characters, though unlike Peggy Rathmann’s 10 Minutes Till Bedtime (1998), it may give Froggy’s younger fans some new bedtime maneuvers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-670-88860-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2000

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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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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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