CHIRRI & CHIRRA, UNDERGROUND

From the Chirri & Chirra series , Vol. 4

In this Japanese import, the winsome, bike-riding twins from Chirri & Chirra in the Tall Grass (2017) are back for another gently surreal adventure.

Dring-dring, dring-dring!” Upon hearing mysterious noises from the cellar, Chirri and Chirra hop on their bikes and pedal into a hole they find dug into one of its walls. They come across “an underground peanut farm” worked entirely by industrious moles, who harvest, shell, roast, and package the legumes. After enjoying “two cones of peanut soft-serve, warm and fresh as can be,” Chirri and Chirra are off again, stopping in “an underground flower garden” tended by mayflies and pedaling beneath a vegetable garden—parsnips, a turnip, leeks, carrots, and beets can be seen in cross-section—before finding their quarry: three badger children who took a wrong turn into their cellar and their parents. The badgers lead them to an underground lake for a boat ride before offering them a meal of “fried root vegetables” and “blue soup” and finally digging them a new tunnel up into the pink dawn. Doi employs her trademark approach, soft colored pencils on textured paper giving the illustrations the cozy appearance of lithographs, a mood furthered by the book’s diminutive trim. The twins are identical, with black pageboys, dot eyes, pudgy, rosy cheeks, and Mona Lisa smiles; their delight in the wonders they encounter is pure, unquestioning, and totally infectious.

Another charmer. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59270-244-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

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?

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more