Warmly friendly and inviting for a wide range of ages.

BORN IN THE WILD

BABY MAMMALS AND THEIR PARENTS

Small humans whose parents read to them will find fellow feeling with the well–cared-for wild babies in these pages.

Judge, who has a particular gift for animal portraiture that connects other living things to human understanding, offers a look at 26 species of mammals as infants. These babies have much in common with their human audience: the need to eat, to be protected, to be caressed, to move around, to play, to learn. The words “the baby” precede each examination of how baby mammals begin to grow (“The baby is hungry”; “The baby is part of a family”), creating a memorable, participation-inviting pattern. Judge’s soft pencil or charcoal lines capture the proud, wary, protective looks of parents, mostly mothers, and the slightly dazed, open look of the very young. Two marsupials (a kangaroo and a Virginia opossum, looking much like the old woman who lived in a shoe) are included, as are the marine mammals sea otters, hippos and polar bears—but no whales. Text in a comfortably large font against open space conveys just enough, while individual backmatter paragraphs provide more in-depth information about the specific circumstances, habitats and adaptations of each animal. A brief glossary uses the occasional difficult word in its definitions, and the source list is mostly adult-directed, but child-friendly websites are suggested.

Warmly friendly and inviting for a wide range of ages. (Informational picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-925-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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 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

Did you like this book?

more