Tiny and gentle, but powerful just the same.

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LOLA GOES TO WORK

A NINE-TO-FIVE THERAPY DOG

From the Lola series

Not all working dogs are big and powerful, like police or rescue dogs. Some are tiny and gentle, like little Lola, a 5-pound Yorkshire terrier from California certified as a therapy dog.

Lola narrates her own story with just one sentence per page, accompanied by a high-quality photograph of the adorable dog at home, in training sessions or on visits to schoolchildren and “friends who are not feeling well.” The simple story describes Lola’s challenges in her training to be a therapy dog, which are then echoed in her compassionate assistance to others who are facing different life challenges. The story and appealing photos will draw in preschoolers and children learning to read, including older new readers. Lola is definitely an endearing little character, with charming expressions captured in the illustrations and a tempting cover photo of Lola in her therapy-dog bandanna sitting next to her red plaid lunchbox (almost as big as she is). An author’s note explains a little about therapy-dog training, and a page for teachers offers discussion questions relating to “empathy studies,” as well as suggested activities. There are only a couple of children’s books in print about therapy dogs, and this one has the broadest appeal to different age groups.

Tiny and gentle, but powerful just the same. (Informational picture book. 3-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-939547-00-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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THE WONKY DONKEY

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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