Learning how to navigate the path of friendship is an important part of life, and these bunny buddies learn a lesson that is...

READ REVIEW

TWO BUNNY BUDDIES

In this simple but insightful story, two rabbits discover that lunch with a pal is more fun than eating alone.

The two bunnies, one white and one tan, set off together to hike to their dining destination, traveling down a long path under the hot sun. When the path divides, the bunnies disagree on which way to travel, and an argument ensues. Names are flung (“Stinky Feet!” “Birdy Breath!”), and the rabbits part company, each continuing to hike alone. After finding berries and clover, both bunnies are sad without a companion to share their discoveries. The rabbits gather food to take back and then reverse directions to meet in the middle, friends once again. The minimal text conveys an entire plot full of humor and emotion in just a few words, effectively using action verbs, repetition and occasional rhyming word pairs (“One bunny sighs. / One bunny cries”). Deftly designed cartoon-style illustrations use simple shapes outlined in thick, black strokes set against pastel backgrounds, which will show up well in group readings. The bunnies convey a spectrum of feelings during their journey, from apprehensiveness through anger and sadness to resolute action and a joyful reunion. This will appeal to a wide age range, from young preschoolers through emergent independent readers.

Learning how to navigate the path of friendship is an important part of life, and these bunny buddies learn a lesson that is gently, beautifully shown rather than told. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: March 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-17652-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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