KANGAROO’S CANCAN CAFÉ

After an inspiring trip to Paris, a kangaroo starts his own dance troupe. So hooked is Kanga that he returns to the same café to watch the gay French poodles perform the dance every night of his holiday. Back home in Australia, he feels a bit mopy…until he gets a brilliant idea! He decides to set up his own Cancan Café and sponsors a competition to find the best dancers. Pot-bellied pigs, a wombat, a charismatic croc and a platypus wearing a yellow boa all strut their stuff, hilariously depicted by Chapman. Once she overcomes her shyness, the native Australian emu proves to be the most skillful dancer, and Kanga’s new troupe consists of a chorus line of leggy emus, elaborately dressed. Crowds of diverse animals come from miles around to enjoy the Australian Cancan Café. Jarman’s concept is delicious (as are Chapman’s pictures), but her verse is a little clunky, scanning clumsily and offering such dubious rhymes as “fuss” and “platypus.” Still, this should amuse young listeners and prompt them to shake it. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-84362-600-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE POUT-POUT FISH

The pout-pout fish, painted a suitable blue, is so named for his perpetual gloom: “I’m a pout-pout fish / With a pout-pout face, / So I spread the dreary-wearies / All over the place.” When a jellyfish complains about his “daily scaly scowl,” the glum fish agrees, but says his mood isn’t up to him. A squid, dubbing the fish “a kaleidoscope of mope,” receives the same defeatist answer, as do other sea creatures. Up to this point, the story is refreshing in that readers will no doubt recognize the pout-pout fish in their own lives, and in many cases, there’s just no cheering these people up. But the plot takes a rather unpalatable turn when a shimmery girl fish kisses the gloomster right on his pouty mouth. With that kiss, he transforms into the “kiss-kiss fish” and swims around “spreading cheery-cheeries all over the place,” meaning that he starts to smooch every creature in sight. (Don’t try this at school, kids, you’ll get suspended!) Still, there’s plenty of charm here, both in the playful language (“hulky-bulky sulking!”) and in the winning artwork—Hanna’s cartoonish undersea world swims with hilarious bug-eyed creatures that ooze personality. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 21, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-374-36096-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more