Those who love pigs, pirates, and planets are sure to be pleased.

READ REVIEW

RUFUS BLASTS OFF!

Persuasive pig Rufus Leroy Williams III shatters the porcine glass ceiling—or in this case atmosphere—yet again in his third outing.

Ever since mastering literacy in Rufus Goes to School (2013), the titular pig has used his skills to find adventure. After convincing Capt. Wibblyshins to let him join a pirate crew in Rufus Goes to Sea (2015), his pirate mateys demand fresh new tales—but Rufus is all out! In search of stories, Rufus is determined to go boldly where no pig has gone before: Mars. There’s only one problem: Cmdr. Luna (a black woman) believes that pigs aren’t made of “the right stuff” because they are bound to “do loop-the-loops in the crew cabin” and “hog the juice packets.” Despite Luna’s bias, Rufus isn’t deterred: he’s been rejected before, but that’s never stopped him. After a few tries, he gets lucky: the Mars mission will be cancelled unless they can find someone to read a book on Mars, via livestream, to children around the world. Lucky for them, Rufus is the pig for the job! Quiet pen-and-ink illustrations show the pink pig in his element as he tumbles about, carrying his oversized books with him. While some readers new to Rufus may be puzzled at his jump from golden age piracy to futuristic space travel, fans of Rufus will be glad to see him triumph and will look forward to seeing where his next adventure will take him.

Those who love pigs, pirates, and planets are sure to be pleased. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2099-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave...

RUFUS GOES TO SCHOOL

Rufus Leroy Williams III is determined to learn how to read, but can he convince Principal Lipid to allow a pig in school?

Rufus makes the best of his illiteracy by imagining his own stories to go with the pictures in his favorite book, but still he longs to read. The tiny pig knows just how to solve his problem, though: With a backpack, he can go to school. But Principal Lipid seems to think it takes more than a backpack to attend school—if you are a pig, that is, since pigs are sure to wreak all sorts of havoc in school: track mud, start food fights, etc. Rufus decides a lunchbox is just the ticket, but the principal feels differently. Maybe a blanket for naptime? Or promises not to engage in specific behaviors? Nope. But the real necessary items were with Rufus all along—a book and the desire to learn to read it. Gorbachev’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations emphasize Rufus’ small size, making both his desire and the principal’s rejection seem that much larger. Parents and teachers beware: The humorous pages of imagined, naughty behavior may be more likely to catch children’ eyes than Rufus’ earnestly good behavior.

But it is the parting sentence that will hit home with everyone: “But Rufus loved storytime most of all… / …because it gave him room to dream.” (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0416-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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