A soothing and superb story to read to nature lovers at bedtime

READ REVIEW

HUSH HUSH, FOREST

This nature-themed picture book brings readers through autumn and just into winter.

Author Casanova and illustrator Wroblewski team up to deliver an homage to the North American woods as autumn slips into winter. Casanova’s singsong rhyming text is filled with evocations of the quiet busyness of common forest animals—deer, bear, beaver, and owl, among year-round residents, and such summer visitors as loon and hummingbird—as they prepare for winter months ahead. The narrative doesn’t give nature information so much as it soothes and quiets readers’ spirits with its gentle and lyrical telling of preparation and rest. Wroblewski’s full-color woodcut illustrations feature masterful design in their overall composition and accuracy in their depiction of nature—and here is where more information about the nature of the animals and the environment can be found. Beavers fell trees, and the illustration shows exactly how that tree trunk looks after it has been gnawed by the animal’s large front teeth. Raccoons catch crayfish, and the illustration shows them rolling the crustaceans in the stream before eating, as they do. In the illustrations’ splendid accuracy, the grandeur of the natural world speaks for itself. The illustrations’ movement and flow belie their laborious technique; fur appears textured, the sky is subtle, viewpoints are stimulating, and the animals move fluidly. The two humans shown appear white.

A soothing and superb story to read to nature lovers at bedtime . (Picture book. 3-7)<

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8166-9425-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Univ. of Minnesota

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more