An inventive if not wholly successful look at the nighttime world of nature.

READ REVIEW

EVERYONE SLEEPS

An imaginative pug with insomnia explores the night world of sleeping animals with a dreamlike narrative in rhyming text.

Conrad the pug just isn’t interested in sleep when his family heads off to bed. He slips out into the night alone and sees all sorts of familiar animals sleeping near his home. As Conrad ventures further into the heart of darkness (his name is Conrad, after all), his observations veer into the fantastical. He can see under water and into distant environments, spotting such unusual animals as elephants, monkeys, a panda and a tiger. At first Conrad is an observer, but he becomes a participant, swimming with the “creatures of the deep” and sleeping on his back tucked into a group of walruses. He returns home to find the little girl of his family still awake, and Conrad falls asleep in her bed. Readers will find the girl in an irritated state of wakefulness on the final page. This jarring attempt at a humorous ending doesn’t complement the magical, ethereal tone of Conrad’s journey. Intriguing illustrations in ink, watercolor and gouache capture the mysterious tone of the world at night, with a wide variety of perspectives and creatively integrated strings of ZZZs coming from the sleeping creatures.

An inventive if not wholly successful look at the nighttime world of nature. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25793-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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