MOST LOVED MONSTER

Downey and Davis offer a different take on the subject of sibling rivalry for a parent’s love in this hysterical look at a monster family. As Mama tippy-claws into each of her four children’s rooms, she’s met by the question, “Who do you love most?” Her response? “I love all my little monsters. But you—you are very special.” She then proceeds to tell each child the qualities each has that she likes most—a sense of humor, good manners, creativity, and bravery. Each goes to sleep satisfied with her answer. Then, as Mama sleeps in her bed, the monsters tippy-claw around the cave preparing their own surprises for Mama to show her that she’s loved the most as well. The gentle message that each child is unique and well-loved will appeal to all siblings who have ever asked this question. And the characters are just monster-ish enough to appeal to the side of children that loves all things slimy. Davis’s illustrations, rich in color and detail, cleverly add gross and yucky things that young readers will love to discover. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2728-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2004

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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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PANDA KISSES

When a young panda asks each of his parents for a kiss, they give him choices: “A soft kiss? / A sweet kiss? / A sticky bamboo treat kiss?” High or low, in the sun or the rain, from a bunny or a fish? In the end the young panda determines that “There are many kisses that will do! / But the best kiss is—from both of you!” A large font, rhythm and rhyme, picture clues and a low word count per page will help emergent readers succeed. Widdowson’s bright illustrations scatter Chinese elements throughout, adding international flair, and sprinkle other animals exchanging smooches for extra interest. A sweet treat to share with a beginning reader. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-84562-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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