A triumphant sequel.

READ REVIEW

DOG ON A FROG?

In a delightfully ridiculous continuation to Frog on a Log? (2015), when the bossy, rhyming cat announces where everyone must sit, the frog asserts a change in the rules.

Picking up from the first book’s last page, in which an amiable-looking basset is sitting on a frog, the nervous frog yells “HEY, DOG! GET OFF THE FROG.” Once again the know-it-all cat appears, restating the rules: “Cats sit on mats, / frogs sit on logs, / and dogs sit on FROGS!” But the frog protests and revises the rules to say “Dogs sit on logs, / and cats sit on gnats.” “OUCH!” exclaims the shocked cat. And so begins another round of cleverly silly statements about the proper seating of an assortment of different animals, insects, and even some fantastical beings (“dragons will sit on wagons,” and “canaries will sit on fairies”). All are assigned rhyming seating locations by the frog, whose ultimate revenge is a very comfortable lounge chair. The previous book’s winning layout is repeated, with boldly colored, opaque backgrounds hosting a bunch of surprised- or distressed-looking cartoon animals atop their ludicrously assigned perches. The fun of matching a nonsensical rhyme for each character will have kids shrieking with laughter as each new illustration is viewed. And new readers will swiftly acclimate to the repetitive pattern and smart vocabulary.

A triumphant sequel. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-11695-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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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

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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