This one should fly off the shelf frequently and will be eminently useful in author-visit prep.

THE BUK BUK BUK FESTIVAL

The latest pun-filled poultry parody from the Auchs (Beauty and the Beaks, 2007, etc.) explores the travails and triumphs of a hen who strives to be a published writer.

Henrietta Fowler loves to read, use the library and write her own stories. When she sees a poster advertising a children’s-book festival with authors who are not chickens but people, she hatches an idea to write a new story about her young life and the concerns she has about leaving her cozy shell to go to "chickergarten." Pretending to be a poultry farmer, she submits her manuscript to five different publishers and is thrilled when all wish to publish her work. She chooses Holiday House “because they sounded like friendly people” who won’t mind when they learn that she is a chicken. A starred review in The Corn Book lands an invitation to the book festival, which she “egg-cepts” only to find that when she arrives, her fowl persona is unwelcome. Recognized by her friend and local librarian, Henrietta is then allowed to “scratch her autograph” for her newest fans. The numerous references to the writing and publishing process for authors coupled with the double-entendre wordplay and vivid digitally created illustrations are an imaginative way to enlighten children while simultaneously giving adults an appreciative chuckle.

This one should fly off the shelf frequently and will be eminently useful in author-visit prep. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3201-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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Hee haw.

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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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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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