Subtle lessons about entering a new and unfamiliar territory, finding companions, and the value of a friendly, approachable...

GOOD ROSIE!

A lonely, brown-and-white terrier named Rosie learns how to stand up to a bully and how to make new friends in this understated, gently humorous story.

Rosie lives with her owner, George, a middle-aged, balding man with glasses and suspenders and a rather staid lifestyle. Though Rosie loves George, she would really like to meet another dog, so on their daily walks they begin visiting a dog park. At first Rosie doesn’t know how to make friends, but a tiny, bouncy dog named Fifi teaches Rosie and a blustery Saint Bernard named Maurice how it’s done. Rosie’s journey takes her from loneliness through fear and bravery and then on to joyous companionship with her new pals. By the conclusion, the three dogs are running and playing together, and George is chatting with two women on a park bench, making friends of his own. George is white, and two of the other dog owners are people of color. Each of the three dogs has a distinct personality, conveyed both in the succinct text and in engaging watercolor illustrations laid out in panels of different configurations as well as some full-page illustrations. Cartoonist Bliss’ humor shines as it works with DiCamillo’s understated text.

Subtle lessons about entering a new and unfamiliar territory, finding companions, and the value of a friendly, approachable attitude are all conveyed with a delicate touch. Good Rosie—good story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8979-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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