A sweet, charming story that could have practical applications.


Debut author Urban presents an illustrated children’s tale about a lost toy, the emotions that come with separation, and solving problems.

A young girl named Ella, like many other kids, has an especially beloved toy: a stuffed bunny named Lola. The animal, in the child’s imagination, hops around, plays with her, and can talk. While on an outing with Ella’s mom—apparently somewhere in England—Lola hops out of the stroller in which Ella is riding and decides to go on an adventure of her own. As a result, Ella and Lola become separated. The little girl looks for Lola for hours, and right before giving up, she enters a park with a pond in which Lola is swimming. She spies her friend, and they finally reunite. Ella gives Lola a bath to clean her up, and the two best friends discuss the adventures they each had over the course of the day and reaffirm how much they mean to each other. Over the course of Urban’s story, the author presents a relatable situation that many children will recognize from their own lives; young readers may very well use this book to help them feel better about losing their own toys. Kalla’s painterly, multimedia full-color illustrations are beautifully executed and fit perfectly with the tone and feeling of the story. The narrative itself is consistently engaging, clearly following the main character’s adventures without being overly long or complex. This book is clearly intended for very young children and is a fine pick for caregivers looking for a meaningful, visually compelling work that may help youngsters deal with a difficult situation.

A sweet, charming story that could have practical applications.

Pub Date: June 1, 2022

ISBN: 9781912678587

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Little Steps/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

Did you like this book?

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...


Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 45

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller


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?