Brand-new readers need very easy stories with familiar situations that they can read over and over. The Bob Books still...

THE NEW PUPPY

From the Bob Books series

The Bob Books, long a staple in little square boxed sets for preschoolers, are now available in an early-reader format.

Big sister Anna and her brother Jack want a dog. Mom and Dad explain all the work a new dog will require. A trip to the Pet Shelter allows the family to pick out their new brown dog, Buddy. The two kids find their new canine friend has more energy than their house can contain. The easy solution—a trip to the park—tires out both Buddy and his new owners. Written by the daughter of the original Bob Book designers, this is sturdy and utilitarian. With both sight words and words that require basic decoding skills, these books are aimed directly at the young child who wants to pick up and read a book from start to finish. On the last pages are flash cards, ready to cut out, showing a word on one side and a picture and sentence from the book using that word on the other. Jack and Anna are drawn with a little more detail than their predecessors, including colored clothing and background. The friendly typeface is easy to read and clear. Kindergarten teachers and parents of children on the cusp of reading will find this series helpful.

Brand-new readers need very easy stories with familiar situations that they can read over and over. The Bob Books still deliver, even if they don't have much pizzazz. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-38268-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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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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Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history.

WOODLAND DREAMS

A sonorous, soporific invitation to join woodland creatures in bedding down for the night.

As in her Moon Babies, illustrated by Amy Hevron (2019), Jameson displays a rare gift for harmonious language and rhyme. She leads off with a bear: “Come home, Big Paws. / Berry picker / Honey trickster / Shadows deepen in the glen. / Lumber back inside your den.” Continuing in the same pattern, she urges a moose (“Velvet Nose”), a deer (“Tiny Hooves”), and a succession of ever smaller creatures to find their nooks and nests as twilight deepens in Boutavant’s woodsy, autumnal scenes and snow begins to drift down. Through each of those scenes quietly walks an alert White child (accompanied by an unusually self-controlled pooch), peering through branches or over rocks at the animals in the foregrounds and sketching them in a notebook. The observer’s turn comes round at last, as a bearded parent beckons: “This way, Small Boots. / Brave trailblazer / Bright stargazer / Cabin’s toasty. Blanket’s soft. / Snuggle deep in sleeping loft.” The animals go unnamed, leaving it to younger listeners to identify each one from the pictures…if they can do so before the verses’ murmurous tempo closes their eyes.

Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7063-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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