What adventures will Sophie and Goose have next? (Picture book. 3-7)



From the Sophie and Goose series

Sophie and her friend Goose are again parted, this time for Sophie’s first day of school, but just as in their first outing, Goose (2015), they aren’t separated for long.

Although “Mom says geese aren’t allowed in school,” that doesn’t stop Goose from following Sophie, “flappy footsteps” clearly audible. And she even spots the fowl in the schoolyard before her mom leaves. Sophie’s first-day nervousness lessens a great deal when Goose appears in her classroom, though her teacher is not impressed. But when Sophie stows Goose under her desk, her teacher can’t spy the bird anymore, though careful readers will. Recess with Goose is especially good fun, and her old friend helps her make some new ones to ease the school transition. When they troop back inside for art, Goose plays on the swings, patiently waiting for Sophie, and the whole class draws Goose during art. The illustrations, drawn with charcoal and then digitally colored, are filled with brilliant colors that really make the white-and-yellow Goose and yellow-haired, red-frocked Sophie pop off the pages. All the characters are white—literally; they are simply black outlines with different-colored hair, none black—and the delightful Goose is very droll, rarely showing any emotion.

What adventures will Sophie and Goose have next? (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-232437-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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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.


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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