This is one terrific book.

READ REVIEW

I AM A TIGER

This mouse has moxie.

The titular “tiger” of Newson and Collins’ imaginative tale may have been born a mouse, but it’s a mouse made up of equal parts imagination and chutzpah. As the story begins, the unnamed, ungendered mouse proclaims proudly: “I am a tiger.” As a series of woodland animals begin to argue with the mouse, its claims of tigerhood grow more and more outlandish (and more humorous). When the expected tiger makes its appearance, the mouse doesn’t bat an eye as it declares, “You’re not a tiger. You’re a mouse!” And so begins the second half of the book as the mouse uses its zany logic to define the other animals in the story. The conclusion is open-ended, and readers hungry for more will extend the silliness on their own and hope for a sequel. Newson’s fearless tone and Collins’ humorous illustrations are a winning combination. The bold cartoons, set against bright, solid-colored backgrounds, are vibrant enough to be seen from the back of the classroom or storyhour room, and the expressions of each animal will definitely inspire rounds of giggles. Fans of David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka’s Moo! (2013) and Kevin Sherry’s I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean (2007) will add this title to their list of favorites.

This is one terrific book. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-34989-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Hee haw.

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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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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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