A single ball of yarn threatens and then strengthens an animal friendship in this slight tale. (Picture book. 4-6)

A FRIENDSHIP YARN

One ball of yarn plus two BFFs who both knit can lead to good intentions and a frayed friendship.

Badger and Porcupine share their days and their meals. One day, a peddler passing by drops a ball of red yarn, which unrolls entirely till it is one long string stretched out and wound around the woods. Porcupine and Badger each pick up one end. Each is industrious, and with knitting needles in hand they proceed to fashion gifts, each for the other, to the tune of “Floop. Floop. Floop-floop-floop.” When their projects unravel and they realize that they are sharing one ball, however, the two fall into a snit and proceed to fashion increasingly grand objects for themselves. A hammock, a tent, and a sail for a boat are all knit and purled into creation. But then night falls, the temperature drops, and the two meet on an icy field to exchange sweaters that they have made for each other. All is well in their world now. Moser’s tale of a friendship that cannot be torn apart by selfishness is sweet but not unfamiliar. Demidova’s colorful illustrations depict a lovely forest setting and a swirling strand of red yarn. Children may ponder the dilemma of a porcupine wearing a knit garment, though.

A single ball of yarn threatens and then strengthens an animal friendship in this slight tale. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-0762-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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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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