A visually formatted joke book to inspire thinking as well as laughs. (Graphic early reader. 4-6)

READ REVIEW

BENJAMIN BEAR IN FUZZY THINKING

Benjamin Bear deals with life in his own straightforward way. 

When Benjamin’s friends goldfish and canary both express a desire to see "what's under the sea," Benjamin comes up with a way to grant their wish: He puts goldfish in canary’s cage and canary in the up-ended goldfish bowl full of air. Both enjoy their trip. When Benjamin can’t quite bring himself to leap off a cliff wearing his hang glider, he enlists an unfriendly dog to chase him over the edge. When friend fox won’t play tennis with him, Benjamin lobs the ball at fox’s head…and it comes right back, just like in the game. In single-page skits of two to seven panels each, Benjamin solves problems and entertains himself and his friends with inimitable style and seriousness. Toon Books continues its new (and award-winning) series of early readers in graphic-novel format by introducing American audiences to Coudray’s eccentric Benjamin Bear. In France, he’s known as Barnabé, and he’s starred in 12 collections for young readers since 1997. Courdray’s droll vignettes in a muted palette will be the perfect enticement for those with a visual sense of humor who are just starting to read.

A visually formatted joke book to inspire thinking as well as laughs. (Graphic early reader. 4-6) 

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-935179-12-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TOON/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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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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Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice.

LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG

Is it a book about aspirations or the backstory for the board game?

Chickapig is defined as “an animal hybrid that is half-chicken and half-pig” and is depicted in yellow, two-legged chick shape with pink pig snout and ears. Young Joe Chickapig lives on a farm that was his grandfather’s dream, but it’s getting Joe down. He dreams of adventure but needs the “courage to follow his heart. / But how could he do it? How could he start?” In a bedtime story, Joe’s mother shares the influential characters that helped Joe’s sailor grandfather “follow his heart against the tide.” It seems that “Grandpa had heard a story told / Of a great big bear who broke the mold. / The bear was tired of striking fear”—so he became a forest doctor and a friend to all. And the bear’s inspiration? “A mouse who went to space.” The mouse, in turn, found hope in a “fierce young dragon” who joined a rock band. And coming full circle, the dragon found courage from a Chickapig warrior who “tired of shields and swords to wield” and established a farm. Chickapig game fans will appreciate this fanciful rhyming tale illustrated in attention-grabbing colors, but readers coming to it cold will note a distinct absence of plot. Mouse and dragon present female; all others are male.

Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7944-4452-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Printers Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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