Read this aloud to complement apple units or family trips to the orchard.

READ REVIEW

APPLESAUCE DAY

Family history reveals itself as applesauce is lovingly made from hand-picked fruit.

Maria narrates the story of an annual family outing. Her white urban family packs their car with the large pot, symbol of this special day, in addition to their bushel baskets. First stop is the apple orchard, where everyone, including toddler Ezra, joins in the picking. Then it’s on to Grandma’s rural house. Grandma wears an old-fashioned apron over her jeans, and everyone else dons one, too. The preparations begin, using the big pot, while Mom reminisces about getting apples with Grandma at a farm stand “in their quiet Ohio town, and how they cooked them in this very pot when she was a little girl.” Grandma talks about “how she helped her mother pick apples from the old apple tree behind their house on the windy Iowa prairie, and how they too cooked them in this pot when she was a little girl.” Observant readers will notice the same aprons being worn for several generations as well. The action shifts back to today. “Crank! Squish! Crankity! Squish!” goes the food mill as Grandma helps Maria and younger sister Hannah prepare the apples once they are cooked. The exuberant, soft-edged paintings show a happy family working together, and the generational continuity lends an extra dimension to a simple story.

Read this aloud to complement apple units or family trips to the orchard. (recipe, additional facts) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8075-0392-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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