A cute mindfulness primer that will especially appeal to dog lovers.



An affable dog and its human model mindfulness.

The brown, short-legged mutt with expressive eyes and a wagging tail is definitely the star of the book. Its companion, an androgynous child with straight black hair and rose beige skin, doesn’t show up until the sixth spread. The slight story follows the pair through a series of ordinary days as the seasons change. The dog and child are often together as they eat, play, swim, socialize, and sleep. The text is filled with frequent mindfulness reminders like “feel the emotion, then let it go and BE,” and “notice the night. Feel the fatigue.” Young readers are encouraged to imitate typical doggy behaviors that will help them maintain a moment-to-moment awareness of their thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surroundings: “Like a dog, feel what you're feeling: Bark if you're worried. Yowl if you're sad. Growl if you're angry.” The winsome digital illustrations, created using cut paper and scanned watercolors, are convincingly textured and multidimensional. Two diagrammatic closing double-page spreads present instructions for taking a mindful nature walk with a friend and include suggestions of what you might notice when you see, hear, sniff, taste, or feel “like a dog” in the spring, summer, fall, or winter. The final page outlines a mindful breathing exercise and shows a picture of child and dog sitting with eyes closed on a blue rug. One spread shows a group of children at a playground, all of whom present White except for two boys with light-brown skin.

A cute mindfulness primer that will especially appeal to dog lovers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-306791-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.


A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 50

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller


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. 28, 2018

Did you like this book?