This toddler and his insatiable appetite for stimulation will charm readers of almost every age.

READ REVIEW

HENRY WANTS MORE!

Henry is a bundle of toddler energy who enters into every activity with great enthusiasm.

He is a whirlwind of perpetual motion as his family gamely attempts to keep up with him. His father lifts him up until his arms are sore, but Henry asks for more. Grandma plays the piano and sings Henry’s favorite song, while Henry sings and claps and shouts, “AGAIN!” (Everything’s in uppercase for Henry.) Big sister Lucy patiently plays endless games until she is wiped out, but Henry calls for more. Big brother Charlie pulls him in a wagon and races with him back and forth, up and down the street, until he can’t move another inch—and Henry wants another ride. More games, tickles, and songs ensue, leaving everyone thoroughly exhausted. Mama reads one bedtime story after another, until Henry finally falls asleep, to receive one more kiss from everyone as he slumbers. Ashman’s tale is simple and cozy. There is no sense that Henry is spoiled or temperamental. His parents and siblings adore him, and he responds joyfully to the love that surrounds him. Hughes’ softly hued, detailed illustrations depict a loving, biracial (African-American mom, Caucasian dad), multigenerational family whose facial expressions and body language add humor and dimension to the text.

This toddler and his insatiable appetite for stimulation will charm readers of almost every age. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-38512-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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