Imaginative new-sibling fun.

READ REVIEW

KID AMAZING VS. THE BLOB

Jimmy becomes a superhero and conquers his archnemesis.

Upon hearing a loud, terrible howling, Jimmy rushes through a secret door into a secret elevator and down to the lowest level of his home, where he transforms himself into the formidable Kid Amazing. He arms himself with an array of gadgets and heads toward danger. Encountering a terrible odor in the Blob’s lair, he quickly uses his trusty “de-stinking spray” and nullifies that problem. When he reaches the dreaded villain, he finds the hidden “howl neutralizer,” and magically all is calm. He applies to the Commissioner for approval and a cookie, making an (unrealistically) optimistic prediction that there will be no more trouble from the Blob. Of course readers will quickly suss out that Kid Amazing’s adventures involve an annoying baby sibling and a very patient mom. (All are white.) Schneider’s take on the new-baby syndrome is fun and inventive. Kid is admirably willing to help his mom with this blobby creature and applies great care and cunning in his machinations, all cleverly depicted in lively pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations. However, Kid’s costume elements and accouterments are explained in small blue and white insets, interrupting the flow of the tale and employing syntax that is at a more sophisticated level than the main text; while adults reading with children will get a chuckle, they may leave actual children behind.

Imaginative new-sibling fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-80125-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal.

LLAMA LLAMA LOOSE TOOTH DRAMA

From the Llama Llama series

Llama Llama loses a tooth for the first time.

All of the wiggling can make having a loose tooth fun, but there can be some worry, too. How will it fall out? There is a tooth fairy? What does she do? Llama Llama is distressed. “Is it fun? / Or is it scary? / Just who, exactly, / IS this Fairy?” Luckily, Mama is there to help. “The Fairy’s great. She’s kind and funny. / She takes your tooth / and leaves you money.” Llama Llama is on board with that! Appropriately, exactly how much money is never specified, but the tiny llama fairy is shown carrying a bag stuffed with bills. Hopefully she has many houses to visit. Gram and Grandpa have lots of ideas on how to get the tooth to fall out, but Llama’s tooth stays put until bedtime. Suddenly, Llama realizes his tooth is gone: “OH NO. / Where is that tooth? / Where did it GO?” Will the tooth fairy come if the tooth is lost? The comforting cadence of the rhymes paired with warm, textured hues soften all the drama. As in the other posthumously published Llama Llama books, Morrow’s textured paintings emulate Dewdney’s definitively lined renderings. The fluttering llama fairy, along with Llama’s stuffed llama, whose wide eyes notice all, will delight eagle-eyed readers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.3-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.8% of actual size.)

A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20603-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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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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