Entertainment and education in a pleasing package.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

From the Flip the Flap & Find Out series

A smartly designed lift-the-flap book reveals surprises in the animal kingdom.

A hungry chameleon spies a juicy grasshopper. Turn the half-page. His long tongue shoots out to catch it. Going on, Davies presents other unexpected animal behaviors. A beaver swims underwater into its cozy, dry den. A peacock displays his tail and screeches at a female. A bee dances to tell others in her hive about a patch of flowers. Chimps catch termites with a stick. The final spread in this sequencing exercise offers a matching game to remind young viewers of the actions described. Boutavant's bright digital art spreads across the pages, the flaps matching and smoothly revealing each different scene. There is much for pre-readers to look at and enjoy in his busy natural world. Also in the Flip the Flap & Find Out series, Who Lives There? introduces animal biomes by hiding the answer to the titular question under one of four tabs. A jungle, a freshwater pond, a grassland, a coral reef and the Arctic offer distinctly varied habitats for the 20 different species introduced. The final spread asks youngsters to group the species. While these paper flaps last, they’re sure to get plenty of flipping.

Entertainment and education in a pleasing package. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6264-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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