A book to cherish for years to come.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE ROBOT ALONE

What do you do when you’re all alone? If you’re a robot, you make your own friends!

Readers begin this story in a landscape fit for Kenneth Grahame, but there are no toads or badgers in sight. Instead, they meet Little Robot, a short, round little fellow that resembles the cuddly offspring of L. Frank Baum’s Tik-Tok and a toaster. Little Robot is cheerful about his life and routine, so cheerful that every day he wakes up and sings a series of songs. When Little Robot has his breakfast, for instance, he croons: “Oats with oozy oil are yummy / slipping slowly down my tummy.” But although his life is peaceful, he feels a little lonely. What’s a robot to do? Thankfully, this robot has moxie (and a little imagination), so he decides to build himself a doggie friend. MacLachlan and Charest’s text practically screams to be read aloud, and their writing is only further enhanced by Phelan’s inviting watercolor illustrations. Subtle shifts in both the text and illustrations support readers: While the narration is written in black, Little Robot’s songs are written in green so no one will ever miss their cue to sing. Phelan’s art hints subtly at things to come, from Little Robot’s dog-shaped thought bubble of inspiration to the slow development of Little Dog himself.

A book to cherish for years to come. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-44280-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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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

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A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

RUBY FINDS A WORRY

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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