Little listeners and beginning readers alike will enjoy the rhyme and wordplay

READ REVIEW

IF THE S IN MOOSE COMES LOOSE

Alphabet mayhem ensues when a cow frantically tries to reattach the last two letters in “moose.”

COW has only a “gloomy MOO” and is “all alone without her MOOSE, / whose E broke free and whose S came loose.” Like any good preschooler, she goes for the GLUE but does not have any of those letters either. She embarks on a wild adventure, borrowing letters (with a bit of larceny thrown in) from a GOAT and a BEAR on a chair. She assembles them in various combinations, to make a BOAT, an EAR, a CAKE, and a LAKE. The letters are rendered as large, three-dimensional capitals, interacting with what they denote in rib-tickling juxtaposition. A bear snoozing in a chair atop the words BEAR CHAIR becomes an ear relaxing in that chair, which now balances on EAR CHAIR. Only angry BULL fails to join in the game, refusing to give up his U. Following the crash of a CART, ART featuring a cart hangs in a museum, but finally Cow has the G, L, U, and E for her GLUE. One more task remains: rounding up the missing S and E to regain her best friend. All ends happily. Hermann’s fast-paced romp will likely leave readers laughing and spelling along. Cordell’s illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and watercolor, match the kinetic pace of the tale. His animals are loosely drawn and delightfully expressive.

Little listeners and beginning readers alike will enjoy the rhyme and wordplay . (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-229510-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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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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