Lola, an unscheduled addition to a student production, triumphs.

LITTLE LOLA SAVES THE SHOW

A frisky feline makes her stage debut.

Little Lola, a cat with limitless energy, starts her day with yoga-style warm-up stretches, jumps and runs through the park as if in the Olympics, and then dashes into a theater. Human children in colorful costumes (and with varying skin and hair colors and hair textures) are readying themselves to put on a show, and Lola energetically tries on different Broadway fashions until she finds the perfect fit. Forsaking flamenco, jazz, hip-hop, and step-dancing, she joyfully dons a bee ensemble. She then flits across the stage in an assortment of perfectly executed ballet steps. Or are they? Lola, alas, is not alone on the stage, and her solo antics create a messy mayhem. Lola is a team player, though, and proceeds to clean up all the upended scenery and mussed-up costumes, energetically of course. There is a red carpet for Lola at the end, which she rolls out in another solo turn. Sleep finally comes next to her pavement star. Lola may be a stage manager’s nightmare, but she is always a cheerful dynamo. Saab and Gothard, a husband-and-wife duo, introduced Lola in Little Lola (2014), and in this second outing she continues her irrepressible ways. The spot and full-bleed watercolors once again convey a spirit of lighthearted fun.

Lola, an unscheduled addition to a student production, triumphs. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-227453-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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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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Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history.

WOODLAND DREAMS

A sonorous, soporific invitation to join woodland creatures in bedding down for the night.

As in her Moon Babies, illustrated by Amy Hevron (2019), Jameson displays a rare gift for harmonious language and rhyme. She leads off with a bear: “Come home, Big Paws. / Berry picker / Honey trickster / Shadows deepen in the glen. / Lumber back inside your den.” Continuing in the same pattern, she urges a moose (“Velvet Nose”), a deer (“Tiny Hooves”), and a succession of ever smaller creatures to find their nooks and nests as twilight deepens in Boutavant’s woodsy, autumnal scenes and snow begins to drift down. Through each of those scenes quietly walks an alert White child (accompanied by an unusually self-controlled pooch), peering through branches or over rocks at the animals in the foregrounds and sketching them in a notebook. The observer’s turn comes round at last, as a bearded parent beckons: “This way, Small Boots. / Brave trailblazer / Bright stargazer / Cabin’s toasty. Blanket’s soft. / Snuggle deep in sleeping loft.” The animals go unnamed, leaving it to younger listeners to identify each one from the pictures…if they can do so before the verses’ murmurous tempo closes their eyes.

Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7063-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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