THE PRINCESS PIGTORIA AND THE PEA

Edwards presents another alliterative version of a classic fairy tale. Princess Pigtoria is particularly perturbed by the dilapidated state of her castle. Hoping to improve her lot, she responds to a newspaper ad for a princess to marry Prince Proudfoot. Not overly enthused by her first impression of the Prince, Pigtoria nonetheless follows the parlor maid to the guest apartment. There, a pizza-and-polka party ensues with Percy the pizza–delivery pig and several of the other castle servants as guests. That night, Pigtoria sleeps horribly—victim of the party crumbs on her pillows. And although she did not feel the pea (it slipped out), she is offended when Proudfoot reveals his plan. In the end, both end up with mates, though not with each other. Cole’s watercolor illustrations steal the show with funny details. He cleverly incorporates objects that begin with “p,” providing value-added fun in the form of a seek-and-find game (the portrait of a crowned pork chop labeled “Cousin Pearlene” is priceless). More like Dinorella (1997) than Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995) in its alliterative abundance, the device often takes over the story, making this an extra purchase. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-15625-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2010

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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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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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