This not-to-be-missed story appeals to the ear as much as it does to the eye as Lorraine shows readers that music can make...

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LORRAINE

THE GIRL WHO SANG THE STORM AWAY

This rhyming, do-si-do–inducing story relates how Lorraine and her grandfather weather a Tennessee storm with music while uncovering a mystery plaguing their farm.

Fearless Lorraine, who has bright brown eyes and a head full of curly ringlets, loves to play her pennywhistle with her overalls-wearing, harmonica-playing, “pitchforkin’ Pa Paw.” (Emphasizing just how much the two love to make music together, Bond superimposes the sheet music of songs onto the illustrations in which Pa Paw and Lorraine play or sing.) For no apparent reason, shiny objects begin to disappear from around the farm: the breakfast bell, Pa Paw’s keys to the barn gate, a tin scoop, and even both their instruments. When a violent electrical storm and what appears to be a tornado tear through the farm, Lorraine feels afraid, but she and Pa Paw don’t even have their instruments for comfort. They do have their voices, though. Serendipitously, the freshly fallen “Chinkypin tree” reveals both the whereabouts of the shiny objects and the thief. Bond’s photorealistic acrylic illustrations bring the expansive landscapes and barnscapes to life while also emphasizing the close intergenerational relationship between the African-American duo.

This not-to-be-missed story appeals to the ear as much as it does to the eye as Lorraine shows readers that music can make any situation more enjoyable. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-1692-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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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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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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