Bright visuals and culinary elements will appeal to readers seeking a twist on the familiar.

READ REVIEW

FEDERICO AND THE WOLF

A reboot of the classic tale of “Little Red Riding Hood” brings new flavors to an old favorite.

Federico is given the job of riding his bike to the market for the ingredients on Abuelo’s grocery list, but he soon becomes the object of a hungry wolf’s attention. When the wolf (bloodlessly) takes Abuelo’s place in an attempt to make Federico his lunch, Federico must use his wits and his grocery basket to save the day. While the Red Riding Hood story is a familiar one, the clean abcb rhymes in this retelling give the story a contemporary feel. Federico’s sleeveless, red, hooded sweatshirt and cool shaved hairstyle also give the story an update. Chavarri’s vibrant illustrations include plenty of colorful details for observant readers, such as a luchador mask–themed shopping bag and papel picado bunting at the market. The infusion of Spanish words on almost every page works perfectly with the settings and adds cultural specificity to Federico’s journey to visit his abuelo. Main characters are depicted as a Latinx family with shades of light brown skin and straight black, brown, or white hair. A recipe for the “perfect pico de gallo” salsa—key to Federico’s thwarting of the wolf—is included at the end of the story for a delicious way to extend the fun.

Bright visuals and culinary elements will appeal to readers seeking a twist on the familiar. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-56778-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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