<p>A sweet and unusual new-baby story with an uncommonly broadening vocabulary.</p>

READ REVIEW

A KID OF THEIR OWN

In this companion book to A Crow of His Own (illustrated by David Hyde Costello, 2015), Clyde the rooster returns with his star wake-up crow.

<p>Regularly lapping up universal praise and adoration, Clyde is living a comfortable life on the farm until farmers Jay and Kevin introduce Fran the goat and her kid, Rowdy. Everyone is delighted to have a kid on the farm except for a jealous Clyde, who devises a plan to regain everyone’s attention. The next morning he uses a megaphone to make an extra loud wake-up call, but the noise doesn’t allow Rowdy the sleep he needs. His friend Roberta the goose asks him to tone it down, but he dials it up with amps and drums, crowing every time Rowdy tries to rest. Soon everyone is upset, and Clyde realizes he must do something to make up for his “foul behavior.” Lambert depicts how hard the change brought about by a new young one in the family can be while also addressing inclusivity and celebrating everyone’s unique voice. The charming watercolor illustrations include little hints that the two white, male farmers are preparing for another new arrival. As with the author’s first book, the vocabulary sets this title apart from many others for this age group. Rarely using verbs like “said” or “asked,” the text allows readers to discover “gushed,” “huffed,” and “gasped” alongside other crunchy vocabulary: “Resolve,” “bereft,” and “righteousness” are just a smattering.</p> <p>A sweet and unusual new-baby story with an uncommonly broadening vocabulary.</p> (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-58089-879-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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THIS BOOK IS GRAY

A gray character tries to write an all-gray book.

The six primary and secondary colors are building a rainbow, each contributing the hue of their own body, and Gray feels forlorn and left out because rainbows contain no gray. So Gray—who, like the other characters, has a solid, triangular body, a doodle-style face, and stick limbs—sets off alone to create “the GRAYest book ever.” His book inside a book shows a peaceful gray cliff house near a gray sea with gentle whitecaps; his three gray characters—hippo, wolf, kitten—wait for their arc to begin. But then the primaries arrive and call the gray scene “dismal, bleak, and gloomy.” The secondaries show up too, and soon everyone’s overrunning Gray’s creation. When Gray refuses to let White and Black participate, astute readers will note the flaw: White and black (the colors) had already been included in the early all-gray spreads. Ironically, Gray’s book within a book displays calm, passable art while the metabook’s unsubtle illustrations and sloppy design make for cramped and crowded pages that are too busy to hold visual focus. The speech-bubble dialogue’s snappy enough (Blue calls people “dude,” and there are puns). A convoluted moral muddles the core artistic question—whether a whole book can be gray—and instead highlights a trite message about working together.

Low grade. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4340-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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