Kids will get a good laugh and adults will all-too-easily relate.

BUNNY BUSINESS

Every parent has been there. It’s spring vacation, the bunnysitter is sick, your partner has already left for work, but you still have to do your job and keep your little bunny safe. What is a mother to do?

Little Bunny is beyond excited at the opportunity to go to work with Mama and see what she does all day. A quick hop onto the train into the city, a stroll to the office past some street artists, and in they go! However, inside is not particularly exciting. There is not a lot for a little bunny to do, and, even more important, there are no snacks! There are few things as creative as a bored bunny, so Bunny goes on the hunt for some snacks only to stumble upon that beautiful creature: the vending machine! Can Bunny figure out how to reach the buttons? Will Bunny be able to get money for snacks? Richmond’s illustrations are bright, with expressive faces on her characters (whose simple bodies look as though they’ve been drawn in one long, easy pen stroke) and fun details. A delightful montage shows Bunny making art, wearing paperclip chains, and sticking Post-its all over while the text exclaims, “So THIS is what Mama does at work all day!” It really captures the delight of a kid who gets to have a day off and see the work side of their parent’s life.

Kids will get a good laugh and adults will all-too-easily relate. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-545-92590-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 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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