A fun addition to a young reader’s collection

READ REVIEW

DO YOU LIKE MY BIKE?

From the Hello, Hedgehog series , Vol. 1

In this debut to the Hello, Hedgehog series, the titular hedgehog and a friend have fun on their bikes together.

Divided up into three chapters, this graphic early reader starts with Hedgehog looking all over for his helmet only to realize he left it in the easiest-to-remember place possible. In the second chapter readers meet Hedgehog’s friend Harry, who looks like a guinea pig (but is never identified as such; nor is Harry gendered, unlike Hedgehog.). Harry is timid compared to bold Hedgehog, afraid of the bike’s speed, and embarrassed at their continued reliance on training wheels. The third chapter concludes with the healthy-snack–filled aftermath of their long bike ride. One drawback is that the chapters are somewhat haphazard in their length; the first is a scant eight pages, the second twice that, and the third is 12 pages, which makes the pacing a bit inconsistent. The effective graphic-novel style will appeal to early readers drawn to that format, and the carefully simple but energetic text will help those readers find success. The story is sweet, almost old-fashioned in its innocence, with basic messages about friendship and empathy. Cartoonist/author Feuti utilizes bright colors, highly emotive facial expressions, and color-coded speech bubbles to keep it kid-friendly and engaging. Also included are a guide to drawing Hedgehog at the back and a story prompt.

A fun addition to a young reader’s collection . (Graphic early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-28139-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Acorn/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice.

LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG

Is it a book about aspirations or the backstory for the board game?

Chickapig is defined as “an animal hybrid that is half-chicken and half-pig” and is depicted in yellow, two-legged chick shape with pink pig snout and ears. Young Joe Chickapig lives on a farm that was his grandfather’s dream, but it’s getting Joe down. He dreams of adventure but needs the “courage to follow his heart. / But how could he do it? How could he start?” In a bedtime story, Joe’s mother shares the influential characters that helped Joe’s sailor grandfather “follow his heart against the tide.” It seems that “Grandpa had heard a story told / Of a great big bear who broke the mold. / The bear was tired of striking fear”—so he became a forest doctor and a friend to all. And the bear’s inspiration? “A mouse who went to space.” The mouse, in turn, found hope in a “fierce young dragon” who joined a rock band. And coming full circle, the dragon found courage from a Chickapig warrior who “tired of shields and swords to wield” and established a farm. Chickapig game fans will appreciate this fanciful rhyming tale illustrated in attention-grabbing colors, but readers coming to it cold will note a distinct absence of plot. Mouse and dragon present female; all others are male.

Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7944-4452-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Printers Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more