THE POCKET DOGS

Even the most secure and loving situations can have their unexpected rough patches, scary episodes that come and go, such as the one that figures in Wild’s (Midnight Babies, p. 191, etc.) story. Mr. Pockets is a flighty, but affectionate gent (and is so captured by King’s equally wiggly and homey watercolors) who wears a great, baggy coat come rain or shine, summer or winter. The coat, appropriately, has two very big pockets into which Mr. Pockets tucks his little dogs Biff and Buff. They go everywhere together. But when a hole develops in Biff’s pocket, life becomes a shade precarious. As the hole gets bigger, Biff gets the willies. He tries to hide from Mr. Pockets, not wanting to fall through the hole and get lost, but Mr. Pockets always finds him. Then it happens: At a busy shopping market, Biff takes a tumble and loses sight of Mr. Pockets and Buff. Good-hearted folk at the market try to aid him in finding his home, but he is unhappy and flees each kind embrace. Then Mr. Pockets appears out of the forest of legs and sweeps Biff up. Later that evening, he also sews his pocket. King fills his pages with little bits of humor: a mouse peeking out of his hole, a bird unraveling the pocket, and two of the goofiest little dogs around. As a result, a strong current of reassurance flows through this mild drama, a tribulation that young readers can learn to accept will likely turn out just fine. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-23973-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more