A lesson in manners for children with sophisticated visual palates.

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PLEASE, PAPA

Practicing politeness gets Alice almost everything she wants for her imaginary barnyard. Too bad the horse makes a request of his own.

Alice needs a lot of animals for the farm she’s building in her bedroom. “Mama, give me the pig,” she demands. Mama reminds her to say “please.” Each time Alice requests another animal, Mama teaches her to use her manners before handing her a toy animal that, the illustrations reveal, when placed in her daughter’s hands, becomes the real thing. When Alice needs a horse, though, Mama has none. But smart Alice is ready when her papa comes home. With the requisite “please,” Alice asks her dad to be the horse. They trot, neigh, gallop and race around the room. When she asks for the horse to jump, she does not like the answer: “No…this horse is tired.” Here, the spread’s background turns from a cheery blue-gray to a stormier hue as Alice sulks. The dad, painted as a chalky white horse, asks to be given a rest. Then he says, “Please, Alice….Please.” The page turn shows Alice relenting, giving Papa, no longer a horse but himself on all fours, a pat on his head. While the message delivered is a good one, the lush Victorian feel of the art may not appeal to the readers most likely to benefit most from this lesson. A companion title, Thank You, Mama (2013), was not available for review.

A lesson in manners for children with sophisticated visual palates. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-36002-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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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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A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

RUBY FINDS A WORRY

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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