A very funny shaggy dog story.

READ REVIEW

HOW I TRAINED MY DOG IN 10 DAYS

A boy promises to show readers how he trained his dog in 10 days—but Scamp seems to have his own plans.

A young boy with brown skin and a fluffy black Afro begins the first day of his dog-training journey by showing the gray, shaggy mutt his doghouse. He tells the dog that while he is permitted to venture into the backyard, “you have to stay out of the flower bed, and you absolutely cannot go into the house.” The illustration shows Scamp on his haunches in the flower bed next to a pictorial no-dogs sign. In the next double-page spread, labeled “Day 2” in a childlike scrawl, Scamp stands in the kitchen, wagging his tail, with muddy paws and uprooted flowers in his mouth. The boy goes easy on Scamp and tells him that while he is now allowed “to help in the garden” and to enter the family room, “you are not allowed to play my video games.” The following double-page spread depicts Scamp doing exactly that, and a hilarious cumulative tale ensues. Kids will pick up and recite the repeating lines easily, and they will enjoy Scamp’s antics and the surprise ending, which reveals Scamp’s keen insight into human psychology. There are several very funny illustrations that will get lots of laughs, including one in which Scamp takes a bath while wearing a shower cap.

A very funny shaggy dog story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4413-3264-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peter Pauper Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more