A wedding of the new century joyously wrapped in tradition.

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THE FLOWER GIRL WORE CELERY

Little Emma’s cousin is getting married, and such a delightful mix of something old, something new it is.

Emma’s cousin Hannah has asked her to be the flower girl at her upcoming nuptials. Emma is excited and happy but confused. Her mother describes her dress as “celery,” and Emma, taking this literally, believes that she will walk down the aisle adorned with stalks of the green vegetable. She also mishears when told that she will be accompanied by a ring bearer and thinks that a bear will be her escort. But the biggest assumption is based on cousin Hannah’s intended, who has the gender-neutral name Alex. Alex, readers learn later in the story, is also female. The wedding is a blend of traditional and modern Judaism. The ceremony is held under a canopy, wine glasses are shattered by the newly married couple, the ketubah, or wedding contract, is read, but the rabbi is a woman—the nontraditional element. Gordon’s story of a same sex marriage is happy and positive. No adults or children raise eyebrows or concerns beyond Emma’s initial surprise. The entire affair is oy!—such a joy. Clifton-Brown’s colorful and humorous illustrations of the white family with round faces and rosy red checks depict a most happy assembly.

A wedding of the new century joyously wrapped in tradition. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-7844-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life’s commonplace yet emotionally fraught...

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A PROBLEM?

A child struggles with the worry and anxiety that come with an unexpected problem.

In a wonderful balance of text and pictures, the team responsible for What Do You Do With an Idea (2014) returns with another book inspiring children to feel good about themselves. A child frets about a problem that won’t go away: “I wished it would just disappear. I tried everything I could to hide from it. I even found ways to disguise myself. But it still found me.” The spare, direct narrative is accompanied by soft gray illustrations in pencil and watercolor. The sepia-toned figure of the child is set apart from the background and surrounded by lots of white space, visually isolating the problem, which is depicted as a purple storm cloud looming overhead. Color is added bit by bit as the storm cloud grows and its color becomes more saturated. With a backpack and umbrella, the child tries to escape the problem while the storm swirls, awash with compass points scattered across the pages. The pages brighten into splashes of yellow as the child decides to tackle the problem head-on and finds that it holds promise for unlooked-for opportunity.

A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life’s commonplace yet emotionally fraught situations, this belongs on the shelf alongside Molly Bang’s Sophie books. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943-20000-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

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