A worthy addition to the ranks of animal-themed counting books.

READ REVIEW

DOG LOVES COUNTING

Yates’ lovable Dog—of Dog Loves Books (2010) and Dog Loves Drawing (2012)—is back for some counting fun.

Dog needs some help falling asleep, and when counting sheep doesn’t work, he scours his books for other creatures to count. He finds an egg, out of which hatches a baby dodo, and begins: One. “I’ll look after you,” he says. “Together we are two. Number One, follow me—we must find Number Three.” In the following pages, they find a three-toed sloth, a four-legged camel, a five-lined skink and so on. Ultimately, 10 animals arrive at the desert, where, realizing they’ve lost One, they scamper off in all directions to search, sparking a quick countdown. Finding One counting the stars, they decide to join him, smiling up into the night. In each of the sweet watercolor illustrations, the animals are labeled with their names and numbers (No. 6 / The Fly, for instance) and with relevant body parts counted out (the fly is shown upside down with numerals printed above each spindly leg), giving the feel of an old natural-history or biology text. The prose, peppered with occasional rhyming verse, isn’t as smooth as it might be, but the illustrations more than make up for this limitation.

A worthy addition to the ranks of animal-themed counting books. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-857-55015-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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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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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

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