Nice enough.

READ REVIEW

BAD KITTY SEARCHING FOR SANTA

From the Bad Kitty series

Bad Kitty is back—with a letter to Santa.

Even though she “is not so sure she’s been good this year,” Kitty writes to Santa to ask for “a nice present.” Next she must “GIVE the letter to Santa,” and a picture shows her gripping a newspaper with the headline “MEET SANTA TODAY!” and a photo of Kris Kringle. While en route to the store to see him (her letter cleverly stuck into the folded brim of her knitted hat), Kitty encounters someone she thinks is Santa but who turns out to be someone dressed in a Santa suit and ringing a bell for charity. Other similar encounters show a diverse range of people (men, women, and a child with different skin tones and hair textures) wearing Santa suits and holding signs reading “GIVE.” There’s even a dog and an octopus getting in on the action in the digital, cartoon-style pictures. Kitty is overwhelmed by all the Santas, none of whom looks like the white-bearded white man in the newspaper. And alas, when she reaches the store, it’s closed! Angry, she balls up her letter and stomps on it before heading home. But, in a gift of an ending, Bad Kitty ends up with a very nice present under her tree: a fish in a brown-paper package all tied up with string.

Nice enough. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-19843-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

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CREEPY CARROTS!

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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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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