This sweet, simple story provides a springboard for talks about shapes and simple fractions—and possibly what other...

THE MOUSE WHO ATE THE MOON

Uh-oh, did Little Mouse just eat part of the moon?

One evening, Little Mouse, tucked cozily in her bed, gazes out of her hole—a round, peek-through cut-out in the book’s page—and thinks: “The moon is beautiful...I would love to have my very own piece of the moon.” The next morning she finds a banana just outside her home and believes it’s a piece of the moon fallen from the sky. It smells so delicious that she just takes a little bite...and then another...until there’s only half a banana left. Now Little Mouse worries that because she ate part of the moon, it will no longer be round. Banana in tow, she trudges past her friends, Rabbit and Mole, confessing her crime to them. They reassure her, “Nobody can eat the moon.” But for some people (or mice), only seeing is believing, so Little Mouse’s wise friends coax her out at nightfall to a hilltop, where they see, peeking out from behind jagged cut-paper treetops, the bright, rounded top of the rising moon. By the next page, readers see Little Mouse jumping for joy in her orange-and-yellow stockings at the sight of the full moon. The richly textured, collaged mixed-media illustrations are rendered in deep indigos, spring greens and bright yellows.

This sweet, simple story provides a springboard for talks about shapes and simple fractions—and possibly what other celestial bodies can’t be eaten. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7059-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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