An enchanting forest-set friendship story featuring an adorable cast.


A sprinkle of magic helps a fox make friends in DiCostanzo and Messina’s picture book.

After Critter, a fox, asks Mr. Moon in the sky to send him a friend, a fairy delivers him a jar of sprinkles. When he opens it, a smattering of sprinkles unleashes into the wind. As Critter chases them in the sky, he meets Sprout, a plant who laments being tiny. When Critter offers Sprout a gust of sprinkles, the plant grows. Sprout and Critter “followed the rainbow of colors up high,” leading them to Peep, a bird struggling to sing. Critter unleashes more sprinkles, and voila! the bird sings. Bathed in sparkling light, the newfound friends join other animals in a forest celebration. Critter thanks Mr. Moon for his new pals, and the Moon (who oddly does not have facial features) explains that it was Critter’s own sharing of the sprinkles that sparked his new friendships, and Critter releases the remaining sprinkles to the sky. The message here, delivered in rhyming couplets, underscores the importance of sharing our gifts with others. Meeting and helping others is depicted in a charming, approachable manner, and Szmidt’s dreamy illustrations, glittery swirls, and luminous tones enhance the tale. The book also provides directions for making a sprinkle jar, creatively inviting readers to participate in the story.

An enchanting forest-set friendship story featuring an adorable cast.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-578-23105-1

Page Count: 17

Publisher: Moon Crumbs

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”


Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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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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