The gold-leaf golden leaf could easily be a gimmick, but understated, intentional design causes the book to rise above...

READ REVIEW

THE GOLD LEAF

A golden leaf becomes a bone of contention in a springtime wood.

In the spring, shades of green are everywhere: “jungle green, laurel green, moss green, mint green, pine green, avocado green, and, of course, sap green”—and one golden leaf. When the animals notice it, each wants it “more than anything else in the world.” A warbler picks it, but then a chipmunk steals it, only to lose it to a mouse, who in turn surrenders it to a deer, before a fox snatches it. By this time the increasingly tattered leaf has been torn apart. Through summer and fall and into winter, the animals go about their lives, and when spring and all its greens returns again—along with that one golden leaf—they all know better than to try to claim it: “Their happiness was that it had come back to them after all.” Hall’s story is luscious in its use of language, if a bit abrupt in an early transition, and the lesson, while clear, is lightly applied. There is lots of room for Forsythe’s illustrations to shine—literally, as the golden leaf is rendered in gold leaf. It stands out startlingly against his soft-edged illustrations, which have the warm and comforting look of lithographs. Great painterly swaths of color background the serial theft of the leaf, causing its increasingly tattered state to be ever more apparent.

The gold-leaf golden leaf could easily be a gimmick, but understated, intentional design causes the book to rise above that—lovely . (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59270-214-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more