A great challenge for kids who have already mastered the basic pets and farm animals.

READ REVIEW

WHO HAS THIS TAIL?

Hulbert and Brooks’ second pairing (Who Has These Feet?, 2011) sets readers to identifying animals by their tails and learning how those tails help them adapt.

The titular question is paired with a two-page close-up of an animal tail. The page turn reveals the entire animal in its habitat, the two-sentence text naming the animal and telling how it uses its tail: “A horse has this tail. A horse uses its tail to flick away flies.” But the horse is the most common of the animals presented. The rest will be a challenge, perhaps even for parents, whose toddlers may not be familiar with the physical characteristics of a beaver, a spider monkey, a rattlesnake, a scorpion, a gerbil, a shark, an Artic fox or a peacock. Making it even more challenging is the fact that the tails are shown in isolation against a white background, with nothing to give kids a clue as to size, perspective or habitat. While the final gatefold is rather uninspiring—just a larger, collagelike picture of all the animals that have been seen previously—the flaps of the gatefold are a checkerboard of animal heads and tails against brightly colored backgrounds, allowing for a great matching game. Brooks’ watercolor animals are realistic without being frightening, the colors nicely echoing those found in their habitats.

A great challenge for kids who have already mastered the basic pets and farm animals. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9429-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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?

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

CREEPY CARROTS!

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more