We can’t wait! (Picture book. 4-7)

READ REVIEW

SNAPPSY THE ALLIGATOR AND HIS BEST FRIEND FOREVER (PROBABLY)

From the Snappsy the Alligator series

The chaotic story of Snappsy the alligator continues (Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!), 2016).

In this, the chicken narrator insinuates itself even further into Snappsy’s life, with a very clear motive: the chicken wants to be Snappsy’s BFF. In fact, in the chicken’s mind, they already are: “We met at a party. And now we do everything together.” Readers will guess from the illustrations—and it’s later confirmed in a hysterical outburst from Snappsy—that the chicken never left Snappsy’s house after inviting itself to his party in the last episode. Snappsy is the same reluctant subject, at the mercy of the chicken’s warped worldview no matter how much he tries to correct it: “Actually, I’m going into town. To run errands. By myself.” The chicken is not deterred, sure they are shopping for another party. That’s what BFFs do. They even have matching shirts, “Snappsy” and “Bert,” which prompts a dry but profound exchange: “You never told me you had a name,” wonders Snappsy. “You never asked,” replies Bert. Falatko and Miller brilliantly add depth to the characters’ story arc. Children gain insight into Bert’s motives and see what a difference Bert is making in Snappsy’s quiet life. Upon reconsideration, Snappsy invites Bert to a sleepover, and Bert enthusiastically hijacks the storyline again: “They had such a wonderful time that they decided Bert should move in.”

We can’t wait! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-425-28865-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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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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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