What job will Little Hippo tackle next? Readers will be there for it.

READ REVIEW

HERE COMES FIREFIGHTER HIPPO

From the Little Hippo series

The imaginative Little Hippo is back, this time as a pint-sized firefighter.

Dressed in a firefighter’s coat and hat, Little Hippo jumps into his adorable (and lifelike) pedal car—readers will drool, as it’s the perfect fire engine, complete with bell, ladder and hose—and he’s off to fight fires. But his job is not without its obstacles. He gets stuck in the muck where Big Hippo is wallowing. “Big Hippo bumped and thumped and—plup!—pushed the fire truck out.” Then, he gets trapped by the tall grass (Graceful Gazelle comes to the rescue) and can’t quite make it up a steep hill (Very Tall Giraffe acts as a crane). Then it’s past Laughing Hyena (who laughs at him) and a very quick zip past snoring Lion. Suddenly, there’s thunder and lighting. Could it be? A real fire! Firefighter Hippo’s reaction is spot-on childlike—he goes to look for help, finding it in Elephant. Quite satisfied with the job he has accomplished, Firefighter Hippo heads home to show Mama how he puts out fires, squirting her with his fire hose. More engaging than London and Eduar’s first collaboration (Here Comes Doctor Hippo, 2012), Little Hippo’s story charms readers with copious onomatopoeia. Observant readers can see clues as to the next animal Little Hippo will encounter in the gouache illustrations, which are full of Seuss-ian colors and de Brunhoff–esque shapes.

What job will Little Hippo tackle next? Readers will be there for it. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-968-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

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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