Whether you’re a dog lover or not, count this one a winner.

EVERY DOG IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

A boy who counts dogs winds up counting his blessings, too.

When Louis wonders how many dogs live in his neighborhood, neither his grandma nor City Hall can provide an answer. Louis conducts a dog census and discovers that most people in his community have at least one dog—including a pooch who lives only in his owner’s heart. He also encounters cat, bird, and reptile owners. Louis compiles a numbered list of dogs, noting quirky names and characteristics and taking occasional breaks to report his findings to his feisty, white-haired Grandma, who is busily constructing something—delightfully revealed at the story’s end. Finally, Louis announces his tally to Grandma; but wait—she introduces him to yet another dog owner, a twist that makes for one heartwarming, satisfying ending. This charming, gently humorous tale will resonate with youngsters. Adults will appreciate the winks directed at them: the dog named E.B. dreams of writing animal stories; pups Nos. 17 and 18 on Louis’ list are named Thelonious and Monk respectively. Illustrations rendered with pen, ink, and watercolor and marked by Cordell’s signature quick, loose strokes complement the sweet story and capture Louis and Grandma’s loving relationship admirably; some art is set in spots and panels. The protagonists present White; their neighbors are diverse in race, age, and physical ability. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Whether you’re a dog lover or not, count this one a winner. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4427-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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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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Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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