With plenty of books about imaginary animals and real pets to choose from, steer away from this one.

READ REVIEW

SIR TIM WANTS A DRAGON

Sir Tim is looking for a dragon and won’t take no for an answer.

A little boy with a toy helmet, a shield design on his sweater, a red cape, and a dragon book heads to the neighborhood pet store to find such an animal, even though his mother tells him: “I don’t think they sell dragons at the pet shop, you know.” The friendly shopkeeper tries to persuade Tim that he might like a turtle, saying: “A turtle is green like a dragon.” Tim rejects the turtle as too slow. When offered a rabbit (known for speed), Tim avers: “No, a rabbit isn’t dangerous enough.” He is also disdainful of the mouse offered by the man, who says, “A mouse has sharp teeth, just like a dragon, and it’s fast, too.” Each time Tim uses the refrain: “I want a DRAGON!” Disappointed, Tim and his mother start to walk away until the shopkeeper brings out a puppy, who just happens to be named Dragon (or so the store owner says). After a friendly lick, Tim too quickly gives up his objections and embraces this new pet. Although the loosely sketched and painted illustrations have a pleasant childlike naiveté, the story is both lackluster and hard to believe. All the characters in this Dutch import are white.

With plenty of books about imaginary animals and real pets to choose from, steer away from this one. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-60537-369-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 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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But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave...

RUFUS GOES TO SCHOOL

Rufus Leroy Williams III is determined to learn how to read, but can he convince Principal Lipid to allow a pig in school?

Rufus makes the best of his illiteracy by imagining his own stories to go with the pictures in his favorite book, but still he longs to read. The tiny pig knows just how to solve his problem, though: With a backpack, he can go to school. But Principal Lipid seems to think it takes more than a backpack to attend school—if you are a pig, that is, since pigs are sure to wreak all sorts of havoc in school: track mud, start food fights, etc. Rufus decides a lunchbox is just the ticket, but the principal feels differently. Maybe a blanket for naptime? Or promises not to engage in specific behaviors? Nope. But the real necessary items were with Rufus all along—a book and the desire to learn to read it. Gorbachev’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations emphasize Rufus’ small size, making both his desire and the principal’s rejection seem that much larger. Parents and teachers beware: The humorous pages of imagined, naughty behavior may be more likely to catch children’ eyes than Rufus’ earnestly good behavior.

But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave him room to dream.” (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0416-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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