From the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut series

Donut expect this to pass young audiences without causing a sprinkle of giggles.

A new arrival forces Arnie the doughnut to think outside the pastry rack.

Kicking off another exciting day at the bakery, Arnie exuberantly greets every other mouthwatering treat by name—“Hi, Plain! Hey, Long John! Top of the morning, Jelly!”—until he breaks the fourth wall by looking up from the page: “AHHHH!!! You’re…the biggest doughnut…I’ve ever seen!” But what kind of doughnut? Arnie goes about methodically gathering clues: “1. You’re not round. 2. You don’t have filling coming out of your head. 3. You don’t have a hole in the middle. 4. You don’t have frosting or sprinkles.” Arnie ultimately arrives at a stunning insight. “I’m starting to think you’re NOT a giant doughnut.” Mind blown, his pop eyes turning into big spirals in Keller’s high-calorie cartoons, the gooey gumshoe blurts out the obvious conclusion: “You’re a GIANT COOKIE!” Would that all newcomers, to school or elsewhere, whatever their differences, received the same warm collective welcome Arnie and his fellow baked goods thereupon offer in the luscious climactic spread. Readers of Arnie’s eponymous 2003 debut or his chapter-book outings in Bowling Alley Bandit (2013) and its sequels may be disoriented to find him back in the doughnut case and without human pal Mr. Bing or chip companion Peezo, but that doesn’t make the spirit of this offering any less sweet. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 56.3% of actual size.)

Donut expect this to pass young audiences without causing a sprinkle of giggles. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-10724-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020


Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012


            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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