A delightful story with wide appeal beyond the early-reader designation.

READ REVIEW

LOST DOG

From the I Like To Read series

A huge dog named Pete gets really lost on the way to Grandma’s house for a birthday celebration.

The story opens with Pete wrapping a box in flowered paper and making a birthday card. He sets off in his yellow car with the present, a bouquet of flowers, and his suitcase, on his way to Grandma’s house on Mutt Street. But when Pete gets off the crowded freeway, he quickly gets lost and finds himself in a forest. He asks for directions, and a different animal answers on each spread, using a simple, repeated format that will easily be followed both by emergent readers and by toddlers just getting used to comprehending stories with a plot. The environments change with each new animal, taking Pete around the world on his journey to Grandma’s; a whale finally gives Pete and his car a lift back to reality. A German shepherd police officer tells Pete he’s already on Mutt Street, leading to a wordless final spread with Grandma opening her gift, a ribbon-wrapped bone. Digitally produced illustrations create a dreamy, imaginative world in which a bear can drive a car and a jaguar can read a book in a rain forest.

A delightful story with wide appeal beyond the early-reader designation. (Early reader/picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3429-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Lit with sweetness.

SHARE SOME KINDNESS, BRING SOME LIGHT

Coco, who loves her gentle friend Bear, is shocked to learn that the other forest animals do not know about his kindness.

Inspired by one of her grandmother’s favorite maxims, Coco, a girl with light brown skin and curly brown hair, works with Bear to “share some kindness [and] bring some light” to the other animals in the forest. Interpreting it literally, the two make cookies (kindness) and lanterns (light) to share with the other animals. They trek through the snow-covered forest to deliver their gifts, but no one trusts Bear enough to accept them. As night begins to fall, Bear and Coco head home with the lanterns and cookies. On the way through the quiet forest, they hear a small voice pleading for help; it’s Baby Deer, stuck in the snow. They help free him, and Bear gives the young one a ride home on his back. When the other animals see both that Baby Deer is safe and that Bear is responsible for this, they begin to recognize all the wonderful things about Bear that they had not noticed before. The episode is weak on backstory—how did Coco and Bear become friends? Why don’t the animals know Bear better by now?—but Stott’s delicately inked and colored illustrations offer beguiling views of lightly anthropomorphized woodland critters that make it easy to move past these stumbling blocks. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 67% of actual size.)

Lit with sweetness. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6238-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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?

more