Not so much bibliotherapy for families on the move as a quick burst of verbal foolery, tailor-made for reading aloud.

THE MOOGEES MOVE HOUSE

A picky family goes house hunting in this brief but intensely silly outing.

Papa and Mama Moogee, rendered in the cartoon illustrations as four-legged, egg-shaped, yellow creatures with oversized, spiral schnozzes, drive real estate agent Mr. Ruru (also a Moogee) in their wiener-shaped Moogeemobile from one prospective new house to the next. The first is “a great big blue house with large windows, eight chimneys, and a yukie-yukie tree loaded with yukie-yukie berries,” but Mama Moogee doesn’t like blue. Ugly statues adorn the second offering, and the next house looks exactly like a big wedge of cheese. At each rejection, the three young Moogees scream a page- (ultimately spread-) filling, child-audience–friendly chorus of “WAA WAA MOOGEE DOOGEE WEE WEE LOW LUM!” until the last house—round and pink and perfect in every way—earns a nod and Mr. Ruru’s understanding that the nonsense means “We’ll be happy anywhere / as long as we’ve got our family there!”

Not so much bibliotherapy for families on the move as a quick burst of verbal foolery, tailor-made for reading aloud. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5558-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the...

ROBOT, GO BOT!

In this deceptively spare, very beginning reader, a girl assembles a robot and then treats it like a slave until it goes on strike.

Having put the robot together from a jumble of loose parts, the budding engineer issues an increasingly peremptory series of rhymed orders— “Throw, Bot. / Row, Bot”—that turn from playful activities like chasing bubbles in the yard to tasks like hoeing the garden, mowing the lawn and towing her around in a wagon. Jung crafts a robot with riveted edges, big googly eyes and a smile that turns down in stages to a scowl as the work is piled on. At last, the exhausted robot plops itself down, then in response to its tormentor’s angry “Don’t say no, Bot!” stomps off in a huff. In one to four spacious, sequential panels per spread, Jung develops both the plotline and the emotional conflict using smoothly modeled cartoon figures against monochromatic or minimally detailed backgrounds. The child’s commands, confined in small dialogue balloons, are rhymed until her repentant “Come on home, Bot” breaks the pattern but leads to a more equitable division of labor at the end.

A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the rest. (Easy reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-87083-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

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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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