Dog makes it easy to share his passions.

READ REVIEW

DOG LOVES DRAWING

Crockett Johnson’s Harold and Purple Crayon (1955) is a fruitful progenitor, and this descendent gleefully incorporates three distinct visual styles.

Dog’s enthusiasm hasn’t diminished since he opened his bookstore in Dog Loves Books (2010). He leans down from a ladder, handing a book to a customer, then perches atop a stack of books while reading a book with a book open on top of his head. One floppy ear pokes out, and his face shows bliss. The visual style is mild and happy, with black sketched lines deftly conveying emotion and soft colors filling them in. Then a parcel arrives containing a blank sketchbook, and everything changes. Dog draws a door, steps through it and draws a stickman for company in that blank-paged world. Lickety-split, Dog and the stickman are doodle-creating squiggles and more characters (duck, crab, owl). Adventures ensue: train and boat rides, a desert island, a scary monster and a mad dash home. Three aesthetics mingle: the gentle black lines of Dog himself, with his bookstore’s watery colors; a doodling style inside the sketchbook-world, which, though less visually interesting, is sweetly childlike; and a lusciously realistic portrayal of art supplies. Never have pencils, brushes and even a pencil sharpener beckoned so temptingly, from opening endpapers to closing (make sure to check both).

Dog makes it easy to share his passions. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-87067-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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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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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