Young children and their dogs will enjoy this cheery tale.

HELLO GOODBYE DOG

A mixed-race girl who uses a manual wheelchair finds a way for her irrepressible pet to stay by her side.

Zara’s dog, Moose, loves to say, “Hello.” When Zara hugs Moose, the faces of both child and dog beaming with contentment, readers will understand perfectly why Moose finds “goodbye” as awful as “an itch that couldn’t be scratched.” When Moose can’t accompany Zara to school, Moose “put[s] on her brakes” until Mom (who’s black) and Dad (who’s white) drag her away from Zara. But Moose has other ideas, beginning a chain of escape attempts. Each “Hello” finds the persistent pooch visiting Zara’s class in different areas of the school, her animated antics emphasized by brisk lines and scrawls. Each “Goodbye” is a cumulative refrain, requiring Mom, Dad, Zara, and more and more school personnel to get Moose to leave. Finally, Moose is alone in a crate, surrounded by white space broken only by a family portrait and Moose’s winding howl. But not for long—Zara takes Moose to “therapy dog school,” and Moose happily becomes the class reading dog. Gianferrari’s dog’s-eye metaphors for loneliness and Barton’s expressive, energetic mixed-media illustrations highlight Moose’s affection and the joy she brings to others. An author’s note provides a brief description of therapy dogs as well as two websites for further information.

Young children and their dogs will enjoy this cheery tale. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-177-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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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

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Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history.

WOODLAND DREAMS

A sonorous, soporific invitation to join woodland creatures in bedding down for the night.

As in her Moon Babies, illustrated by Amy Hevron (2019), Jameson displays a rare gift for harmonious language and rhyme. She leads off with a bear: “Come home, Big Paws. / Berry picker / Honey trickster / Shadows deepen in the glen. / Lumber back inside your den.” Continuing in the same pattern, she urges a moose (“Velvet Nose”), a deer (“Tiny Hooves”), and a succession of ever smaller creatures to find their nooks and nests as twilight deepens in Boutavant’s woodsy, autumnal scenes and snow begins to drift down. Through each of those scenes quietly walks an alert White child (accompanied by an unusually self-controlled pooch), peering through branches or over rocks at the animals in the foregrounds and sketching them in a notebook. The observer’s turn comes round at last, as a bearded parent beckons: “This way, Small Boots. / Brave trailblazer / Bright stargazer / Cabin’s toasty. Blanket’s soft. / Snuggle deep in sleeping loft.” The animals go unnamed, leaving it to younger listeners to identify each one from the pictures…if they can do so before the verses’ murmurous tempo closes their eyes.

Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7063-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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