An exhilarating ride—for horse lovers, art lovers, and students of design.

READ REVIEW

TEN HORSE FARM

A frisky equine outing from a master paper engineer.

Each of the first nine page turns causes an intricately articulated horse or two, or some part of a scene, to shoot up or out, often to a startling height or in an unexpected direction (the 10th and last opening is a 3-D layout of the titular farmhouse and yard). Cued by one-word captions, the horses are engaged in different activities, from “Pulling” a cartload of small farm animals or “Playing” tug of war with a goat—using a shirt from a clothesline—to “Resting” amid wildflowers with a trio of playful kittens. Hard-hearted viewers unimpressed by such preciosity may warm instead to Sabuda’s simple, harmonious palette and the ways he infuses his scenes with subtle artistic elements, such as the visual echoes in the dramatic edges of a rooster’s spread feathers and a windblown mane or sinuous lines of white defining both a stream and the horse drinking from it. As usual, durability plays second fiddle to getting figures and settings to unfold in astonishing, seemingly magical ways. Also as usual, the special effects are well worth taking the extra care required to keep them intact.

An exhilarating ride—for horse lovers, art lovers, and students of design. (Pop-up picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6398-8

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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