An exciting tale of boy-and-puppy bonding for Inuit children, this story is also accessible to non-Inuit readers willing to...

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KAMIK'S FIRST SLED

This Canadian import recounts a winter afternoon of an Inuit boy named Jake and his sled dog puppy, Kamik.

A companion to Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story, by Donald Uluadluak and illustrated by Leng (2013), this story is based on the recollections of Sulurayok, an Inuit elder from Nunavut. In the book, Jake and his puppy are staying with his grandmother in her house. She encourages Jake in his training of Kamik and sends the pair out onto the snowy tundra to practice with a simple sealskin sled. The fairly lengthy story describes their training session and their trip back home during a sudden blizzard. Soft-focus watercolor-and-pencil illustrations capture the antics of the dog and his young master as well as the drama of the ride through the swirling blizzard. The story places readers directly into the setting and the plot, with no concessions to non-Inuit audiences, such as a map, glossary, or pronunciation guide. A few words are not defined by context, such as bannock (a type of bread) and Inuktitut (an Inuit language), and other words are difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce without guidance, such as the grandmother’s name, Anaanatsiaq, and Tuhaaji, the dog’s Inuktitut name.

An exciting tale of boy-and-puppy bonding for Inuit children, this story is also accessible to non-Inuit readers willing to meet Kamik and Jake out on the tundra. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-7722-7020-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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