A sweet addition to the “you’re braver than you think” shelf.

A LITTLE BIT BRAVE

A bunny overcomes his fear of the outside world and sets off on his first adventure.

Bunny friends Logan and Luna couldn’t be more different. Logan is a “stay-at-home-bunny.” Luna is daring and has “new adventures every day.” Luna invites Logan to join in her adventures, but he is too scared. One day, fed up with Logan’s timorousness, Luna stomps off in frustration. Logan feels awful and realizes he must make up with her immediately to save their friendship. There’s only one problem—she’s “OUTSIDE!” Reluctantly, he packs a higgledy-piggledy assemblage of items and heads out the door. The outside world is scary, but thankfully Logan meets some helpful forest friends. As Logan searches for Luna, he discovers whole new worlds and creatures: underwater, among the trees, and deep inside a dark cave. He kind of likes it. When he stops to rest, he hears a cry of distress. Luna is in trouble! Logan must summon all his courage to save her, rising magnificently to the occasion using a surprising secret weapon. Kinnear illustrates Logan’s romp through the autumnal woods and beyond with a touch of whimsy. The rich, vibrant palette—swirling waters in cool shades of blue and glowing woodlands drenched in warm, earthy hues—paired with a lighthearted text makes for a charming story.

A sweet addition to the “you’re braver than you think” shelf. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56327-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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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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Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development.

DOUBLE PUPPY TROUBLE

From the McKellar Math series

A child who insists on having MORE of everything gets MORE than she can handle.

Demanding young Moxie Jo is delighted to discover that pushing the button on a stick she finds in the yard doubles anything she points to. Unfortunately, when she points to her puppy, Max, the button gets stuck—and in no time one dog has become two, then four, then eight, then….Readers familiar with the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” or Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona will know how this is going to go, and Masse obliges by filling up succeeding scenes with burgeoning hordes of cute yellow puppies enthusiastically making a shambles of the house. McKellar puts an arithmetical spin on the crisis—“The number of pups exponentially grew: / They each multiplied times a factor of 2!” When clumsy little brother Clark inadvertently intervenes, Moxie Jo is left wiser about her real needs (mostly). An appended section uses lemons to show how exponential doubling quickly leads to really big numbers. Stuart J. Murphy’s Double the Ducks (illustrated by Valeria Petrone, 2002) in the MathStart series explores doubling from a broader perspective and includes more backmatter to encourage further study, but this outing adds some messaging: Moxie Jo’s change of perspective may give children with sharing issues food for thought. She and her family are White; her friends are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Doubles down on a basic math concept with a bit of character development. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-101-93386-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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