Readers hoping to share beautiful, age-appropriate images and accurate terminology should look no further than this book and...

READ REVIEW

ANIMAL BABIES ON THE MOUNTAIN!

From the Animal Babies series

Animals that inhabit a mountain biome are introduced in this simple board book, one of four.

The other three examine forest, meadow, and river animals, and each volume follows the same format. An adult animal is shown on verso; its baby appears on recto. Each book features six animal pairs. The proper name for each young animal is used, which means there is some repetition of names. For example, the young of both the panda and the wolf are rightly called “cubs.” Nor are the animals exclusive to the habitat assigned by Groves. For example, spiders and “spiderlings” appear in Animal Babies in the Meadow!, but many spider varieties could also live in a forest or on a mountain. These quibbles aside, the thick pages with just one word and one animal per page make the set ideal for sharing with little ones in the naming stage of vocabulary acquisition. Groves’ striking illustrations look like prints overlaid on clean, pastel-colored backgrounds. The pages lack any gloss finishes, relying only on the iconic images of each animal, and the text is in lowercase cursive.

Readers hoping to share beautiful, age-appropriate images and accurate terminology should look no further than this book and its companions, bracing antidotes to the cuteness that floods the board-book shelves. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84643-881-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

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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 sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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