Bun Bun’s return, somewhat the worse for wear, brings a softly sentimental end to a classic (if a teensy bit exaggerated)...

BUN BUN BUTTON

Paige Elizabeth Darling’s cherished stuffed bunny has a mighty adventure.

“We Darlings have always been lucky,” says Gramma, as she and Paige make cookies together and feed the five cats and two dogs. Then they sit in the Old Blue Chair to cuddle and read. While everyone seems to have their own toy, including the pet squirrel, Paige doesn’t, so Gramma makes Bun Bun Button out of calico. Bun Bun goes everywhere with Paige, even to the park, where Gramma gets her the reddest and roundest of balloons. Paige wants Bun Bun to fly, too, but even though she is very careful and ties the balloon string onto her wrist and listens to Gramma’s admonitions, Bun Bun and the balloon go off into the sky—but Darlings have always been lucky. Polacco’s exuberant and expressive pictures convey Paige’s excitement and delight, and the spread in which she cries while Bun Bun flies off is a perfect childhood howl of anguish. The identical cats and the twin dogs (and the goldfish and squirrel) have whimsical and sometimes knowing expressions.

Bun Bun’s return, somewhat the worse for wear, brings a softly sentimental end to a classic (if a teensy bit exaggerated) childhood experience. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25472-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

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A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it.

THE OLD BOAT

A multigenerational tale of a boat’s life with a Black family, written by two brothers who loved similar boats.

In the opening spread, a smiling, brown-skinned adult dangles a line from the back of a green-and-white boat while a boy peers eagerly over the side at the sea life. The text never describes years passing, but each page turn reveals the boy’s aging, more urban development on the shore, increasing water pollution, marine-life changes (sea jellies abound on one page), and shifting water levels. Eventually, the boy, now a teenager, steers the boat, and as an adult, he fishes alone but must go farther and farther out to sea to make his catch. One day, the man loses his way, capsizes in a storm, and washes up on a small bay island, with the overturned, sunken boat just offshore. Now a “new sailor” cleans up the land and water with others’ help. The physical similarities between the shipwrecked sailor and the “new sailor” suggest that this is not a new person but one whose near-death experience has led to an epiphany that changes his relationship to water. As the decaying boat becomes a new marine habitat, the sailor teaches the next generation (a child with hair in two Afro puffs) to fish. Focusing primarily on the sea, the book’s earth-toned illustrations, created with hundreds of stamps, carry the compelling plot.

A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-324-00517-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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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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