WHERE THERE’S A BEAR, THERE’S TROUBLE!

A yellow bee flies low across a meadow attracting the attention of a bear, who imagines the “sticky honey, yummy honey, drippy honey, gooey honey” waiting at the end of the bee’s journey. This starts a sequence of events that confirms the bee’s statement that the presence of a bear means there’s trouble ahead. Maybe one bear can be fairly innocent, but two hungry geese see berries in their future, and then three little mice, looking for their own treats (“where there are geese, there’s corn”) have joined the parade of animals following the tiny bee. Creeping along towards the hive the animals try to keep quiet. “Buzz! Buzz! Growl! Growl! Honk! Honk! Squeak! Squeak! Shh!” Then “one yellow bee buzzed right into its nest . . . and one hundred yellow bees buzzed out!” The animals attempt to make a hasty retreat, each thinking the other is after them. Unfortunately, in their effort to get away, they all manage to trip over one another and collapse in a heap. Flying over the tangled animals, the bee claims, “I knew there’d be trouble.” Delightfully sunny illustrations depict the full range of emotions on the animals’ faces as they attempt to creep stealthily along—the tiptoeing bear is priceless—and then frantically try to escape. After pages of charming individual action, the next-to-last double-paged spread finds them all grinning together. These new friends need more adventures together. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-58925-022-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Hee haw.

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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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