A simpler alternative to Brian Patten and Nicola Bayley’s The Big Snuggle-Up (2011) for the youngest of listeners and...

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WILLIAM'S WINTER NAP

William’s bed is a perfect haven from the winter snow; the forest denizens think so too.

William, a dark-haired white boy, gets readers in the winter mood with his rosy cheeks, old-fashioned nightcap and union suit, wooly socks, and striped scarf. His welcome to each refugee is just as warm. A tiny chipmunk is first, tapping at the window. “The two climb in and curl up tight. / They YAWN and say, / ‘Good night.’ / ‘Good night.’ ” It won’t take listeners long to chime in on this repeated refrain, the numbers increasing as a porcupine, a woodchuck, and a raccoon snuggle down in the bed as well. And then a note slides under the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” The animals are begrudging, quickly forgetting William’s generosity in the interest of space in the bed. But they just can’t turn the newcomer away in the cold and snow. The end finds a gracious William curled up in the chair beside a bed heaped with animals as dawn lightens the window: he’ll see them in the spring. Groenink’s illustrations deftly juxtapose the warm light of the cabin with the darkness outside, and his characters are expressive; few readers will be able to stifle their own yawns.

A simpler alternative to Brian Patten and Nicola Bayley’s The Big Snuggle-Up (2011) for the youngest of listeners and bed-sharers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2282-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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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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