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

READ REVIEW

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

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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

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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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