Tippy finds a new home, but his sentimental tale doesn’t cover any new territory in the crowded field of dog-adoption...



A boisterous, homeless dog finds a permanent home with the foster family assigned to care for him temporarily.

Tippy is called a terrier in the story, possibly a mix of terrier breeds or a smooth-coated fox terrier. He is transported along with many other dogs to a new location for potential adoption and “forever homes.” A white couple named Nice Woman and Nice Man take Tippy home as a temporary foster placement, introducing him to their own dog and cat. Nice Woman and Nice Man give rambunctious Tippy lots of attention and teach him basic obedience, and gradually he learns how to get along and behave. The couple realizes that Tippy has adjusted to his new home so well that they decide to keep him permanently. The text, based on a true story in the author’s life, is told in an old-fashioned style that includes Tippy’s thoughts, lots of words in capital letters for emphasis, and too many exclamation marks. The story’s saccharine slant includes Tippy’s exuberant pronouncements of joy at his permanent adoption, including a “happy tear” sliding down his nose. The illustrations include lots of humorous mischief in altercations among the two dogs and the cat, and multiple views of Tippy’s changing expressions help establish his personality. The human characters are shown primarily from the shoulders down and include children of color in one illustration.

Tippy finds a new home, but his sentimental tale doesn’t cover any new territory in the crowded field of dog-adoption stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-942155-20-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peter E. Randall

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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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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Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

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Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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