A springboard for readers to consider their own ways to welcome.

WAYS TO WELCOME

Ashman and Chou look at some simple ways to say, “Hello, friend. / I’m glad you’re here,” with acts of kindness and friendly gestures.

From waves and handshakes among humans to nose-to-nose sniffing between two dogs, the text looks at the many ways one can share a welcome with someone else, be they old or young, well known or someone new to you. Retrieving a blown-away hat, helping a new student find their way, showering love on a newly adopted dog, holding a homemade sign at the airport arrivals gate, and providing toad abodes and birdhouses are all put forth in the gently rhyming text. ”An offering, / A smiling face / That lights an unfamiliar place” shows neighbors bringing garden largesse and a neighborhood picnic invitation to a family that’s just moved in—cardboard boxes are piled outside, and they were previously seen arriving at the airport. That neighborhood picnic ends the book on a high note, people from all walks of life and every shade (many from previous pages) sharing a wonderful day together. Two women wear hijab; a small kid uses a wheelchair; and there is a same-sex couple raising a baby. Simple, stylized artwork in bright shades keep the focus on the interactions, and readers will delight in finding the blue butterfly in every scene.

A springboard for readers to consider their own ways to welcome. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-374-31318-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

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

Did you like this book?

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more