The gentle, descriptive text and appealing illustrations succeed in establishing an atmosphere of a warm, crowded, noisy...

READ REVIEW

A HOME IN THE BARN

Creatures large and small take shelter together in a warm barn in this evocative collaboration with text by Brown and illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Pinkney.

The first few pages are related in rhyming text, while the illustrations set the scene with a traditional red barn and fall leaves blowing in a gusty wind. The text then shifts to prose that describes various animals coming into the barn, including field mice, horses, bats, and goats. A calf is born in the barn, and the brown-skinned farmer names her Winter Morn. The farmer’s son, who has brown skin and black, Afro-textured hair, is shown milking a cow on the final spread, where the opening rhyming lines are repeated. The text is lyrical and atmospheric though not as exceptional as some of Brown’s better-known works. Pinkney’s luminous watercolor-and-pastel illustrations create a cozy environment for the animals, using a double-page–spread format, a large trim size, and a thoughtful design. Tiny details are hidden in the pages, such as a grasshopper perched on a dried cornstalk and a line of ants marching toward the barn, and sound effects from some of the animals are also integrated into the illustrations. An artist’s note gives interesting, specific details about Pinkney’s artistic process.

The gentle, descriptive text and appealing illustrations succeed in establishing an atmosphere of a warm, crowded, noisy barn where everyone is safe and sheltered. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-623787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more