SLEEPY SHEEPY AND THE SHEEPOVER

Young readers needn’t feel sheepish about appreciating this sweet, entertaining story.

A slumber party is thrilling—until it isn’t.

Sleepy Sheepy is excited: He’s packed his suitcase and can’t wait for his first sheepover at Grammy and Grampy Sheepy’s house. He imagines the fun things he and his “two favorite folks” will do all night long. But anticipation is different from reality. Sleepy bids his parents good night. All of a sudden, this sheepover business doesn’t seem so fun. Everything feels different. The blankets are scratchy, his jammies don’t match, his tummy feels twisty, and his eyes are misty; even Grampy’s potato collection doesn’t distract him. Sleepy Sheepy can’t sleep; he misses home. Sleepy can’t explain his feelings to his beloved grandparents. But this wise pair know what’s what. Grampy whips up a batch of cookies, Grammy reads Goodnight Mooo’n (featuring a cow, natch)—Sleepy’s dad’s favorite—and all three dance to the Woolen Stones’ album Let It Bleat. Guess what? An exhausted Sleepy Sheepy hops into bed, ignores the blankets’ scratchiness, and falls asleep, feeling “right at home.” Cummins brings her gently humorous story, written in bouncy rhymes, to a predictable ending, but readers will enjoy it nonetheless, especially kids (er, lambs) who have had their own first “sheepovers” at a beloved relative’s home. The cheerful, lively illustrations are endearing; boldfaced typefaces of different sizes are incorporated playfully into the text.

Young readers needn’t feel sheepish about appreciating this sweet, entertaining story. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2024

ISBN: 9780593465943

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

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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. 28, 2018

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