Crossing fingers for more seasonal “red” tales.

RED HAT

One red hat plus a troop of enthusiastic animals equals trouble!

Young fans will love reading and rereading this nearly wordless continuation of the adventure of the hat from Judge’s marvelous winter tale, Red Sled (2011). It’s spring-cleaning time now, so the child washes the red hat and hangs it out to dry. Yellow flowers are blooming, little bunnies are hopping, butterflies are flittering, and the sun is shining. When the critters spy the hat pinned to the line, the cub speaks for everyone: “Hrmmm?” At first, an energetic game of keep-away breaks out, with the accompanying sounds and exclamations of pursuit and merriment. Readers will feel the thrill of the game until the illustrations show that things might have gotten out of control. The expressive words—Whoa, shwooop, eeeeeeeeeeeeep—become Wut-whoa and Uhmm-mrr, signaling the animals’ realization that the hat is now just one long red strand of yarn with a white pompom on the end. Readers will laugh out loud at the caption when the guilty animals shuffle away from the clothesline, whistling innocently: “Doot-do-doo.” Luckily, the little child is a clever one, able to make everything better than before. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are deceptively simple and strike the perfect chord of energy and emotion that is the definition of a curious and accidentally naughty preschooler.

Crossing fingers for more seasonal “red” tales. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4232-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Hee haw.

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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

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