The slapstick illustrations and the chatty narrative are sure to appeal to transitioning readers and to children who both...

READ REVIEW

LULU IS GETTING A SISTER

(WHO WANTS HER? WHO NEEDS HER?)

Spoiled Lulu is writhing in the throes of a titanic tantrum.

Readers familiar with little Lulu and this droll early chapter book series won’t be surprised by her wails at all, but the catalyst of this particular fit might stop them in their tracks: a baby sister! Children facing such a seismic family change will immediately understand her fears and frustrations. “Why in the world would they need another child? And why would they want a girl, when they’ve already GOT a girl, namely Lulu, who totally had this girl-in-the-family thing covered?” While understanding (or even believing) Lulu’s extraordinarily rude, smug behavior remains challenging throughout the short, flip chapters of this book, empathizing with her quite-common worries about a new sibling is easy. Her parents’ decision to send her to Camp Sisterhood, a sleep-away camp that prepares girls to act as kind, loving older siblings by pairing them with little-kid stand-ins, doesn’t seem such a bad idea. As it did in Lulu’s Mysterious Mission (2014), Cornell’s artwork quite aptly captures Lulu’s ugly antics and their effects on her audience. Funny grimaces, saucer eyes, furrowed brows, and frowns abound; Lulu and her family seem to be white, while the campers are a diverse group.

The slapstick illustrations and the chatty narrative are sure to appeal to transitioning readers and to children who both love and endure a sibling. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7190-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 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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A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.

MAX AND THE TAG-ALONG MOON

After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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