This testament to imagination, confidence, and entrepreneurship offers refreshing takes on learning about animals and how to...

READ REVIEW

THE REPTILE CLUB

New kid Rory hasn’t found a school club he wants to join, so he starts his own, for kids who share one of his interests: the Reptile Club.

Lots of kids like animals—and he’s certain lots of kids like reptiles—so he has high hopes, making posters and bringing in his plastic reptiles and lizard-shaped cookies. Here, what has so far seemed like a fairly run-of-the-mill school story takes a literally wild and fantastical turn when the first participants arrive: not fellow reptile lovers but a crocodile, a snake, and a lizard. The animals introduce themselves and offer some interesting facts. The crocodile tells Rory he sweats through his mouth, for example. When the other students see how much fun the interspecies group is having, “they couldn’t wait to join,” and Rory’s goal is achieved. Rory is a red-haired white child; the classroom is a multicultural group in which boys and girls alike participate in the Prancing Unicorn Club as well as the Extra Math Homework Club. Ellis’ digital artwork replicates a scratchy, penciled look, which suits the energetic, imaginative story. As winter approaches, the reptiles must leave, imparting one last animal fact: “Reptiles can’t tolerate the cold.” Delightfully, this does not spell the end of Rory’s friendships.

This testament to imagination, confidence, and entrepreneurship offers refreshing takes on learning about animals and how to make friends. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-655-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE SERIOUS GOOSE

Bet you can’t make this goose smile, no matter how hard you try.

TV personality Kimmel’s first foray into picture books presents a feathered grump with a scowl that is proof against any kind of foolery: Try putting a chicken on her head, dressing her as a moose, or even trucking in a snail pizza—this goose won’t crack. Breaking now and again into verse, he challenges readers to give it a try in a foil mirror: “Cluck like a chicken / moo like a cow / be doofy, be goofy / any way you know how”—and sure enough, eventually a grin bursts out to replace the grimace despite a multipage struggle to hold it in, and off prances the goose in a pair of (gender-bending) tighty whities. Yes, she’s become “a SILLY goose (thanks to you),” the narrator proclaims, and what’s more, “YOU are a silly kid.” A hand-lettered narrative in block printing big enough to take up most of the space accompanies thick-lined cartoon views of a goosey glare that dares readers to crank up the volume, and the last page turn reveals a final tweak that may add a few grown-up voices to the younger chorus of giggles.

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-70775-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more