Piggies in pajamas: pure porky pleasure! (Picture book. 2-7)


The piggies may be in their pajamas, but they have little interest in snoozing.

While Mama's in the kitchen and Papa is working late, the shoats make merry. "Piggies in pajamas, / jumping in the air, / tossing up the pillows, / popcorn in their hair." The five little piggies of various ages finish their jumping and use their imaginations. First they are mountain climbers and simultaneously ocean divers, but "THUMP, THUMP. / OINK, OINK— / All the piggies fall. / STOMP, STOMP, / STOMP, / STOMP— / 'Mama's in the hall!' " They hurry up to hide in bed and wait to make sure Mama's not coming. Then it's off to pretend to be a train until they hear the stomping again! Hide under the covers...and then a pillow fight when the coast is clear. But a scratching branch at the window sounds like a wolf or a fox or a bear! Those piggies know the best place to go when they're scared! Mama's bed is big and cozy: "Good night, piggies!" Meadows and Hoyt team up again for another tale of porcine mischief (Piggies in the Kitchen, 2011). Little listeners will see themselves in Meadows' friendly, creative rhymes (though the noisy onomatopoeia might not make for the best bedtime read). Hoyt's pale watercolors of full-bleed rambunctiousness (with occasional insets of a suspicious Mama downstairs) are a terrific match.

Piggies in pajamas: pure porky pleasure! (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4169-4982-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Hee haw.

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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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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.


A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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