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DOT THE LADYBUG

THE MISSING DOT

From the My First I Can Read series

By turns funny and sweet—and sure to hit the spot.

An introduction to reading—and to the gentlest of mysteries.

Although Dot the ladybug enjoys finding dots and spots “here, there, and everywhere,” she’s stumped when her friend Spots the dog asks for help finding his snack’s “missing dot.” Readers in the know will recognize the dog’s treat as a doughnut, but Dot and Spots need time to come to this understanding. They begin searching for the ostensibly missing dot as Dot encounters a sunflower’s round center, a round blueberry, and Spots’ ball. None of them are the missing dot! While new readers will be supported by the controlled text’s use of rhyme, assonance, and short sentences, they’ll also gain encouragement from the conceit of the book, which positions them to know more than the main characters do. Throughout, Coleman’s cheery, cartoon-style illustrations ratchet up the humor of the accessible text, showing Dot using a magnifying glass to examine these objects in her search and visually adding a subtle detective-story flair to the narrative. The mystery is solved when Dot comes across her friend Jots the mouse, who is the doughnut maker. “My snacks have a hole, but they are whole,” Jots explains. In this treat of a story, the homophone is the icing on the cake.

By turns funny and sweet—and sure to hit the spot. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 9, 2024

ISBN: 9780063137509

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2024

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THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

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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. 28, 2018

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

Totes adorbs.

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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