DUCK & COMPANY

Duck and Rat co-own a bookstore, and this easy reader’s five chapters offer a charming glimpse into the highs and lows of their workaday life. When Cat comes in looking for “a book that tells how to cook rats,” Rat hides. Enterprising Duck sells him a book on carrots, which are sure to make his fur shine. Mother Hen squeaks in with a pram full of eggs, leaving with the boredom-busting Terror Tales to Make Your Feathers Pop Out. Caple’s ink-and-gouache pictures furnish funny, easily interpreted scenes of retail life, including a stampede of little critters arriving for the forgotten story hour. (“Don’t worry,” Rat assures Duck. “You can wing it.”) Kids might envy these entrepreneurs: Each gets to take the brand-new title in the “Cliff-Hanger” series home to read. So what if the bleary pair sleeps through the following day without selling a thing? Time does whiz by “when you’re doing what you love.” Snap this one up—it’s sure to fly off the shelves. (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1993-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 43

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

DIARY OF A SPIDER

The wriggly narrator of Diary of a Worm (2003) puts in occasional appearances, but it’s his arachnid buddy who takes center stage here, with terse, tongue-in-cheek comments on his likes (his close friend Fly, Charlotte’s Web), his dislikes (vacuums, people with big feet), nervous encounters with a huge Daddy Longlegs, his extended family—which includes a Grandpa more than willing to share hard-won wisdom (The secret to a long, happy life: “Never fall asleep in a shoe.”)—and mishaps both at spider school and on the human playground. Bliss endows his garden-dwellers with faces and the odd hat or other accessory, and creates cozy webs or burrows colorfully decorated with corks, scraps, plastic toys and other human detritus. Spider closes with the notion that we could all get along, “just like me and Fly,” if we but got to know one another. Once again, brilliantly hilarious. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-000153-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more