In the end, family love wins out.

SO HAPPY TOGETHER

Siblings often disagree, even bunny brothers and sisters.

When Brayden’s friend Lena visits, he becomes upset because Lena plays with his two sisters first. He scoffs at their stereotypical girl games, but when they play gender-neutral hide-and-seek, he still won’t join. He had wanted to show Lena his “secret hiding place today—the one with the carrots.” Brayden’s jealousy prevents him from having fun until badger Benny comes to play with trains. Inexplicably and problematically, Benny wears a cowboy hat, and Brayden sports a feathered headdress as they play. When Benny mentions that a storm is brewing, suddenly Brayden thinks about the girls. He tells his friend that he must find them because they are “scared stiff of thunder.” Benny can’t understand the bunny’s anxiety, but Brayden resolutely states: “Brothers and sisters have to look out for one another.” The girls are not so happy to be the object of Brayden’s concern, however, and reveal that he is also afraid of thunderstorms. Back in their cozy living room, Brayden hands out carrots from his secret cache, and Mommy comes home to find her children happy with each other once again. While the story takes a great many words (set in fairly small print) to tell and is a little saccharine, the accomplished watercolor illustrations are quite engaging, full of detailed European woodland flora and fauna.

In the end, family love wins out. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4279-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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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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