A delightful, engaging book for a broad audience, an effective form of stress reduction, and a catalyst for readers’ own...


From the Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear series

Kuma-Kuma Chan continues in his life of peaceful solitude, even when he travels.

Fans of Takahashi’s little bear may be surprised when they think of this meditative character on the go, but in keeping with his usual contemplativeness, his travels are in his mind. He thinks about, dreams about, and writes about great adventures—even ones in which he’s a tiger or he goes back in time—without leaving the comfort of his little house in the mountains. The narrator (depicted from behind as an adult man) confides in readers that Kuma-Kuma Chan sends him travel notes but he can’t read them because the bear writes fast and messily, so he has to imagine how his travels are going. But he tells readers about Kuma-Kuma Chan’s travels in a satisfyingly repetitive rhythm of big, exciting adventures that he then humorously reframes in a much smaller and calmer setting. The illustrations are wonderful simplified shapes and are done in sweet pastels that visually reinforce the quiet world of this charming little bear. Though it’s the third book in the series, it stands alone, but it’s a great reason to check out the other two.

A delightful, engaging book for a broad audience, an effective form of stress reduction, and a catalyst for readers’ own imaginary travels—all in an irresistibly wee package. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-940842-18-9

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Hee haw.

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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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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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