A bright, populous countdown for nature lovers, Midwestern or otherwise.

ONE NORTH STAR

A COUNTING BOOK

A cumulative tally of flora and fauna in Minnesota—the North Star State.

Bowen’s luminous painted woodcuts, based on designs by Prange, depict 10 northern biomes at sundry times of day and year. The residents of each are different, from an opening aerial glimpse of one moose browsing near a rocky Great Lakes beach followed by two brown bats in a limestone cave beneath one soaring rough-legged hawk to views of 10 teals, nine showy goldenrods, eight milkweed pods, seven Canada geese, and other sights common to a broad tallgrass prairie—all, as the refrain goes, “under one north star.” After a pointed reminder about one final resident—“You live here, too,” showing light-skinned figures at a campfire—Root closes with brief nature notes on the featured plants and animals, plus directions for finding Polaris in the night sky. Despite a patterned format, Root’s not-particularly-rhythmic text isn’t as sonically pleasing as her own Plant a Pocket of Prairie, also illustrated by Bowen (2014), or Donna M. Bateman’s Out on the Prairie, illustrated by Susan Swan (2012), but as befits the various settings, the wild cast is considerably more diverse.

A bright, populous countdown for nature lovers, Midwestern or otherwise. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8166-5063-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Univ. of Minnesota

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Hee haw.

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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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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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