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Gourmets of all things gross will sniff at this.

While Mom’s away, Dad and the kids will play.

Following reminders not to pick their noses or play ball in the house, hardly is Mom out the door before the narrator, his sister, and Dad pull out industrial quantities of green goo, shape it into a massive ball, break a vase (“ ‘She’ll kill us,’ Dad shrieked”) and—uh oh, there it goes out the window. “ ‘It’s heading to town,’ I yelled. ‘Quick, get your bikes.’ / But our slippery snot-rocket was leaving our sight.” Having picked up pets, underwear, and miscellaneous litter on its way, the giga-greenie reaches town, where Mom (of course) is waiting to swat it into outer space with a big stick. She gets a Booger Blaster medal, and all is forgiven. Young audiences might forgive Richtel’s cavalier attitude toward rhyme and regular metrics, but after a promisingly icky prefatory table of booger types, Wildish turns in a lackluster loogie that looks more like papier-mâché or a boulder-sized, oddly colored meatball than anything truly worth gagging at. And do readers really need yet another doofus dad? A “postman” and two other figures are brown-skinned in an otherwise all-white cast.

Gourmets of all things gross will sniff at this. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-234984-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Go, Nathan! Stick it to the, Fairy.

A lad’s determination to keep his baby teeth sets him against not only the tooth fairy, but the whole Fay bureaucracy behind her.

Far more interested in the teeth than the money, Nathan ingeniously hides each fallen chopper—to no avail, as his assigned tooth fairy is just as determined to collect them, and she comes armed with a high-tech Super Tooth Sensomatic to do the job. Clad in formal office togs and topped with a ’do that wouldn’t dare show even a hair out of place in Parker’s comically detailed digital paintings, the tiny tooth fairy positively oozes bureaucratic severity. But Nathan outlasts her and even a squad of thuggish enforcers euphemistically dubbed “Tooth Experts” from the 15th League of Enchanted Commerce to earn both a rare certificate of exemption and a dental rebate. “ ‘Thanks!’ said Nathan. ‘I’ll keep them forever.’ / And he did.” The increasingly stern official missives from the tooth fairy are depicted in typescript on letterhead in the illustrations. While children are unlikely to have encountered communications of this ilk on their own behalfs, they will likely have seen their grown-ups tearing their hair out over similar ones—and their grown-ups will enjoy them thoroughly.

Go, Nathan! Stick it to the, Fairy. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7915-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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