Powell-Tuck nails it: it was your fun; now it is your mess. Do the right thing, which is the doorway to more fun.

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THE MESSY BOOK

As reliable as the muezzin’s call are the four words that echo in every child’s ear: pick up this mess!

“I’ve made a mess,” says the cat, not without a hint of pride. The dog is not so sure: “Maybe you should clean it up.” Powell-Tuck’s dog has an innate sense of tidiness, and her cat would be hard-pressed to think of something more boring than cleaning up. The cat tries shoving the mess—a rather gay collage of a mess, as Smythe presents it, much like the remains of a stack of glossy magazines once a hamster is through with them—but the neighbors are not inclined to house the mess, nor are the denizens of the ocean when the cat tries to sink the mess. “And now the mess is soggy,” notes the dog. The cat ponders: “We could hide the mess under my bed…or blow it up…or eat it.” Enough, says the dog. When the vacuum cleaner explodes from excess capacity, cat agrees to just plain pick the stuff up. Which calls for a party. Which results in another mess. The book is a good laugh, but it is also fundamentally provocative: is making a mess worth the consequences? Of course it is.

Powell-Tuck nails it: it was your fun; now it is your mess. Do the right thing, which is the doorway to more fun. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68010-037-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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