BUNNY PARTY

From the Max & Ruby series

Wells (McDuff Goes to School, below, etc.) must have a secret key not only to the heart of toddlerhood but to the very core of sibling relationships, as she proves once again in her latest Ruby and Max adventure. Older sister Ruby, with her usual imperturbable and implacable direction, has planned a birthday party for Grandma. She’s invited all of her dolls and stuffed toys, as well as herself and little brother Max. Max isn’t pleased, because there’s no room at the table for his Jellyball Shooter Spider, his Ear-Splitter Space Cadet, or his Can’t-Sit-Up Slug. So while Ruby lays out the treats, Max does subterfuge: disguising each toy and leading Ruby to believe she is having a bad counting day. Max gets all three of his toys in place just in time for Grandma’s arrival, and she is of course delighted by the “three uninvited guests.” The mixed-media illustrations are full of panache, from the multicolored numbers that dance above the characters’ heads to the precise renderings of kid emotions on those little bunny faces. Max’s simper with the Space Cadet and Ruby’s discomfiture at the sitting Slug are particularly fine. A party not to be missed. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-670-03501-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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 SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more