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

READ REVIEW

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE SERIOUS GOOSE

Bet you can’t make this goose smile, no matter how hard you try.

TV personality Kimmel’s first foray into picture books presents a feathered grump with a scowl that is proof against any kind of foolery: Try putting a chicken on her head, dressing her as a moose, or even trucking in a snail pizza—this goose won’t crack. Breaking now and again into verse, he challenges readers to give it a try in a foil mirror: “Cluck like a chicken / moo like a cow / be doofy, be goofy / any way you know how”—and sure enough, eventually a grin bursts out to replace the grimace despite a multipage struggle to hold it in, and off prances the goose in a pair of (gender-bending) tighty whities. Yes, she’s become “a SILLY goose (thanks to you),” the narrator proclaims, and what’s more, “YOU are a silly kid.” A hand-lettered narrative in block printing big enough to take up most of the space accompanies thick-lined cartoon views of a goosey glare that dares readers to crank up the volume, and the last page turn reveals a final tweak that may add a few grown-up voices to the younger chorus of giggles.

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-70775-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more