Readers will want to put these instructions to use right away.

READ REVIEW

HOW TO FIND A FOX

A determined child attempts to find an elusive fox and learns that perseverance is rewarded.

Magruder’s debut picture book addresses readers directly as “you,” the digital pictures showing a black child with big, curly hair in a purple shirt and yellow shorts and shoes and sporting a yellow backpack, camera at the ready (more than one reader will be reminded of Dora the Explorer). The book accompanies the child as the narrator relates the sometimes tongue-in-cheek directions on how to find a fox: “Find a fox hole. Any fox hole will do. The best foxes are at home when you visit.” But this fox isn’t the cooperative type. In fact, it’s pretty crafty. Even when the child deploys the “fox bait,” aka chicken leg, it waits until the child moves on before snatching it. As the child continues the search, readers will be beside themselves, yelling that “it’s right there!” but the child doesn’t spy it until after climbing a tree, and even then, it gets away before the descent is accomplished. The child is discouraged but perseveres, because “Some days, a fox doesn’t want to be found. Some days, he wants to find YOU!” Magruder’s protagonist displays an emotional range that matches the beats of the quest, from excitement and determination to anger, boredom, and dismay, and young children will feel them in tandem.

Readers will want to put these instructions to use right away. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-250-08656-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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