It won’t take forever for kids to return to this one.

READ REVIEW

HOW LONG IS FOREVER?

Forever is a long time to wait.

Mason grumbles that waiting for Nana’s blueberry pie “is taking forever.” Amused—and eager to distract his grandson—Grandpa asks Mason if he knows how long forever is. Has Grandpa owned his tractor forever? Did it take forever for Nana’s roses to grow up to the chimney? Is it as long as water “has been racing down the stream”? Forever must be as long as “the great elm tree has been here.” Nope, says Grandpa, but waiting’s over; pie’s ready! After devouring a slice, Mason declares it was worth the wait. Now, his understanding is clearer. Forever, he asserts, is how long he’ll love Nana’s pie. Even better—it’s how long he’ll love Grandpa and Nana. This simple story sweetly portrays a realistic, loving relationship. Listeners on laps or in group settings will eagerly volunteer examples of how long forever is and when they had to wait for desired things. Commendably, the tale helps youngsters approach an abstract math concept—time—concretely and creatively. The watercolor-and–colored pencil illustrations are warm and expressive, depicting lush backgrounds. Mason has light-brown skin; his grandparents’ skin is pale. Grandpa has stark white hair and white facial hair; Nana looks less stereotypical, with a blonde bob and red specs. The author provides a link to some luscious recipes.

It won’t take forever for kids to return to this one. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-58089-578-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

LOVE MONSTER

Monster lives in Cutesville, where he feels his googly eyes make him unlovable, especially compared to all the “cute, fluffy” kittens, puppies and bunnies. He goes off to find someone who will appreciate him just the way he is…with funny and heartwarming results.

A red, scraggly, pointy-eared, arm-dragging monster with a pronounced underbite clutches his monster doll to one side of his chest, exposing a purplish blue heart on the other. His oversized eyes express his loneliness. Bright could not have created a more sympathetic and adorable character. But she further impresses with the telling of this poor chap’s journey. Since Monster is not the “moping-around sort,” he strikes out on his own to find someone who will love him. “He look[s] high” from on top of a hill, and “he look[s] low” at the bottom of the same hill. The page turn reveals a rolling (and labeled) tumbleweed on a flat stretch. Here “he look[s] middle-ish.” Careful pacing combines with dramatic design and the deadpan text to make this sad search a very funny one. When it gets dark and scary, he decides to head back home. A bus’s headlights shine on his bent figure. All seems hopeless—until the next page surprises, with a smiling, orange monster with long eyelashes and a pink heart on her chest depicted at the wheel. And “in the blink of a googly eye / everything change[s].”

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-34646-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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