If the tiny, 5-pound, button-nosed Lola can survive a doctor’s visit, anyone can.


From the Lola series

In the second of this photo-illustrated series, Lola the winsome Yorkie goes to the vet.

Perhaps running a close second to monsters is children’s fear of going to the doctor and getting shots. It’s not Lola’s favorite thing to do either. In fact, she’s “a little nervous” today, because it’s her day to go to the “doctor.” She reminds herself it’s not all bad—after all, the waiting room is full of “nice toys,” and there are interesting animals to see there (on this visit, it’s a pig and a chicken). Lola tries to “wait patiently, just like the big dog,” a Bernese mountain dog that appears to be smiling for the camera, without a care in the world. Then Lola is called, and the doctor performs many of the routine examinations that people doctors do: He weighs her, looks in her ears, listens with his stethoscope. Finally it’s shot time, and Lola tells herself that she’s a “big dog” too. The photographs provide little more than simple narration for the story, but they do so effectively. Children will easily relate to the spunky little pooch, identifying with her worries, cheering her bravery and feeling better about their next doctor visits. The charming, simple line drawings of Lola playing doctor on the endpapers provide another dimension.

If the tiny, 5-pound, button-nosed Lola can survive a doctor’s visit, anyone can. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-939547-11-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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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. 29, 2018

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.


Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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