Should win this pair more friends and fans.



From the Croc & Turtle series

Winter fun…inside or out?

Friends and neighbors Croc and Turtle each make a list of snowy-day amusements. Turtle’s are all inside activities; Croc’s are all outside. Like the true friends they are, they compromise and decide to do everything on both lists. They start with ice skating, but Turtle’s never skated. It ends with a scary spin and a face-plant for Turtle. They switch to an indoor activity: making snowflakes. Turtle’s are beautiful; Croc’s are a confetti-and-tape mess. Sledding is terrifying (for Turtle), and a puzzle is boring (for Croc). The two have a falling out and go their separate ways. But a snowball fight and skiing are no fun for Croc without Turtle, and drawing and playing cards are equally joyless for Turtle…so the two apologize to each other, and Turtle has an idea. While Turtle makes cookies and cocoa inside, Croc builds an igloo outside; and the duo enjoys their warm treat in a frosty fort. Wohnoutka’s second chronicle of this reptile relationship is as charming and sunny (despite the wintry setting) as the first. The text consists entirely of dialogue, with each critter’s color-coded. Neither character has an assigned gender. Listeners and young readers will identify with the conflict and hopefully learn from the creative solution.

Should win this pair more friends and fans. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68119-637-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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