Heart-warming to smile-inducing to giggle-generating, this book gives parents and children of most types something to relate...

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MEET THE PARENTS

What are parents actually good for?

“Sometimes you think that your mom and your dad / are just there to nag you and boss you like mad. / Brush your teeth! / Get a move on! / Say thank you! / Say please! / Tidy up! / No more sweets! / Wash your hands! / Eat your peas!” But it turns out parents are handy for quite a lot of other things, like mending toys and acting as foundations for sand castles. They’re good for warming hands on cold days and disposing of bits of food you don’t want to eat. “Parents are towels for / wiping your grime on. / They’re whirlers and twirlers / and tree trunks to climb on.” But when they have sorted out all your problems…you better watch out, since parents love tickles! Bently’s rhythmic text offers gentle reminders to young listeners of all the small, helpful things parents do. Ogilvie’s mixed-media illustrations are a perfect match, extending and augmenting the humor. Parents of every ethnicity, size and shape as well as both genders are squirted with ketchup and hoses, act as horses and donkeys, and, of course, give good tickles. While it is wonderful to see dark-skinned parents as well as a dad in a turban, the absence of obvious same-sex parents is a missed opportunity.

Heart-warming to smile-inducing to giggle-generating, this book gives parents and children of most types something to relate to. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4814-1483-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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