Feels like a TV cartoon with lots of silly action and no real point, but fun nonetheless.



A self-deluded wolf is determined to catch a lamb for his supper.

Lou Pine believes that he is wily and sly and much smarter than any sheep. When Rambo the Ram blocks his initial foray into the pasture, insisting that he scram and vamoose, Lou decides that a “sheepy disguise” is the way to success. He tries stealing Ma Watson’s fluffy white gown, getting painted white by a road-marking machine, covering himself in cotton candy and threatening Red Riding Hood’s granny into knitting him a sheep-like sweater. But all his attempts meet with dismal failure and a rather disgusting final reckoning. Bently employs rollicking rhyme at a breakneck pace to tell the goofy tale. The lines are of varying lengths and don’t always scan neatly, but the rhymes are mostly breezy and accessible to young readers. Word selection is quite slangy and might not sit well with adults, especially in Lou’s last adventure, in which he “land[s] kersplat in a big pile of poo!” Of course, little ones will delight in the grossness. The text weaves in and around Matsuoka’s textured, stylized cartoon illustrations, adding greatly to the hilarity. But, strangely, Lou doesn’t even remotely resemble a wolf and really looks like no recognizable animal.

Feels like a TV cartoon with lots of silly action and no real point, but fun nonetheless. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-8990-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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


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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