This jaunty little elephant provides a mammoth lesson for young readers about bravery, grit and fortitude.

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POMELO'S BIG ADVENTURE

From the Pomelo the Garden Elephant series , Vol. 4

Pomelo, a small, posy-pink elephant, musters courage and embarks on a grand adventure—one with all the harrowing challenges and unexpected rewards of any good trip.

Readers already friendly with Pomelo (Pomelo’s Opposites, 2013, etc.) know he’s maturing and learning all the time, but a solo journey outside his garden home? Could he be ready? After packing an odd assortment of necessities, including his “knife-fork,” a head of garlic, an old photograph, pumpkin seeds, some ribbon, a world map, and a few strawberries and acorns, he throws a stone to determine his course and takes off (after a quick wee). Pomelo’s quirks endear from the get-go, and he must rely on all his wide-eyed good humor and earnestness for the rocky road ahead. Lively matte artwork depicts delightful mushrooms, flower buds and cactus—as well as oppressive storms, frightening waves and dark nights. “Inside Pomelo feels jiggly, like a heap of pudding on a plate. He wants that feeling to go away. What can he do to stop it?” Amid the cheery storytelling and dear illustrations, the very straightforward scariness surrounding solitude and self-reliance surfaces, along with some coping strategies. Pomelo uses a star to guide him through tough times and finally into the pointy arms of a starfish soul mate.

This jaunty little elephant provides a mammoth lesson for young readers about bravery, grit and fortitude. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59270-158-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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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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A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

RUBY FINDS A WORRY

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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