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

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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Hee haw.

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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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