Good for a chuckle and an excellent extension opportunity for classrooms.

READ REVIEW

LOTS MORE ANIMALS SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT WEAR CLOTHING.

Judi and Ron Barrett come up with more reasons why animals are best au naturel.

As in its classic predecessor, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, the book begins with that titular phrase in black text on a white page, each subsequent page beginning with “because” and supplying a single reason why a particular animal is unsuited to wearing clothing. Sneakers with untied laces and slouchy socks would “hamper a horse.” A frog “might jump out of it”—and looks quite chagrined to find itself suddenly unclothed. “It would be foolish for a fish” to wear a raincoat and carry an umbrella underwater. Laugh-out-loud moments include the caterpillar overwhelmed by the tide of socks coming out of the dryer and the leashed pet armadillo whose armor matches the knight walking it. Other featured animals include a spider, a bear, an elk, a crab, a turtle, a penguin, a skunk, a flamingo, and a hyena. On every spread, the animal is placed against a white background. Across the gutter, black text is alternately placed against coral, pea green, yellow, or white backgrounds. Ron Barrett’s pen, ink, and digital crosshatch-shaded animals look quite realistic—aside from their clothing and the expressions on their faces.

Good for a chuckle and an excellent extension opportunity for classrooms. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8866-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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