Here’s hoping for more transportation-themed adventures from this daring (and endearing) duo.

ONE-DOG SLEIGH

Children intrigued by the idea of a ride in a “one-horse open sleigh” will enjoy this humorous story of a girl and her dog experiencing an old-fashioned mode of winter transportation.

Casanova and Hoyt team up again for this sequel to their One-Dog Canoe (2003), with the same little girl narrator and her perky dog again trying to enjoy an outdoor adventure together. Following the same cumulative structure as the first story, a cast of animal characters appears sequentially in the snowy forest, and one by one they crowd into the overloaded sleigh. They encounter a blizzard, the crowded sleigh hits a bump, and “SWOOSH-A-BANG THUMP!”: All the critters fly through the air into a snow bank, but they recover and play under the twinkling stars before waving “goodbye / on a crisp winter night.” This one has it all: rhyme, rhythm, repetition, humor and a satisfying ending, as girl and dog head back to the warm, brightly lit barn. Charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations provide a variety of perspectives and captivating personalities for the forest-animal friends.

Here’s hoping for more transportation-themed adventures from this daring (and endearing) duo. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-35639-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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?

more