A visual romp.

READ REVIEW

HIDE AND SEEK

A child and some animal friends play hide-and-seek in a vast meadow filled with wildflowers, where lurking danger becomes a new friend.

The child rides on the back of a large brown bear; their raccoon and rabbit friends run in front, each on their two hind legs. When the child faces a tree and counts to 10 for hide-and-seek, the three animal friends sneak away; readers see the back of a wolf’s head up close, sharing its view of the scene. When the child turns around, calling “Coming…ready or not,” the wolf peeks at them from nearby, while the bear, raccoon, and rabbit hide far away. The child approaches the hiding friends: “I can hear you!”; “I can smell you!” The child just misses spying them each time, always unaware of the nearby wolf, whose face becomes increasingly menacing. Finally, in the sunflower patch, the child gives up and declares that it’s their turn. When the bear, raccoon, and rabbit begin searching, they instead find the wolf, who looks meek when they ask where their friend is. Contrary to readers’ expectations, the group of friends ends up gaining one instead of losing one. Depicting the sole human character with brown skin and free, kinky hair, the illustrations make impressive use of texture and varied perspectives to create depth in the environment. The soft color palette minimizes the potential scariness of the wolf throughout the suspenseful drama.

A visual romp. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78628-182-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal.

LLAMA LLAMA LOOSE TOOTH DRAMA

From the Llama Llama series

Llama Llama loses a tooth for the first time.

All of the wiggling can make having a loose tooth fun, but there can be some worry, too. How will it fall out? There is a tooth fairy? What does she do? Llama Llama is distressed. “Is it fun? / Or is it scary? / Just who, exactly, / IS this Fairy?” Luckily, Mama is there to help. “The Fairy’s great. She’s kind and funny. / She takes your tooth / and leaves you money.” Llama Llama is on board with that! Appropriately, exactly how much money is never specified, but the tiny llama fairy is shown carrying a bag stuffed with bills. Hopefully she has many houses to visit. Gram and Grandpa have lots of ideas on how to get the tooth to fall out, but Llama’s tooth stays put until bedtime. Suddenly, Llama realizes his tooth is gone: “OH NO. / Where is that tooth? / Where did it GO?” Will the tooth fairy come if the tooth is lost? The comforting cadence of the rhymes paired with warm, textured hues soften all the drama. As in the other posthumously published Llama Llama books, Morrow’s textured paintings emulate Dewdney’s definitively lined renderings. The fluttering llama fairy, along with Llama’s stuffed llama, whose wide eyes notice all, will delight eagle-eyed readers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.3-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.8% of actual size.)

A rite of passage seen through the lens of a favorite literary pal. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20603-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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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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