Familiarity here breeds contentment.

READ REVIEW

BABAR ON PARADISE ISLAND

Shipwrecked pachyderms find many pleasures and surprises on a tropical island.

Babar and Celeste and their family, along with their friend “the old lady,” board a boat in Celesteville “for a day on the water.” A storm at sea changes everything; the ship hits a reef and capsizes. The party is able to walk to shore, an island with vines and bushes and palm trees. Babar comes face to face with a creature that looks like a dragon, but when it opens its mouth, not fire but welcoming words come out. The preternaturally helpful creature helps them find coconuts to eat, shows them how to build a hut, and takes them to a waterfall where they can shower and swim. Some of them even get to ride on the dragon’s back. Days pass, and many other animal residents of the island come forward to introduce themselves. At night, everybody sits around the fire, singing songs and telling stories. The old lady even manages to make a delicious key lime pie for all to share. Rescue is inevitable, though Babar has mixed emotions. Could their new friend go with them? Even into its umpteenth volume, the hallmarks of the series stand out: simple, declarative sentences, ever-so-mild threat level, blocky, clothed elephants—de Brunhoff’s too smart to mess with a successful formula.

Familiarity here breeds contentment. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1038-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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