It’s an exuberant reminder to dream big, although, sadly, Hoban’s text has been Americanized, losing some of its flavor.

READ REVIEW

ROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE

A little girl finds a discarded ice-pop stick, triggering a surprising adventure in this rib-tickling fantasy.

When Rosie discovers a used ice-pop stick, she automatically adds it to the cigar box housing her collection of other ice-pop sticks. The other sticks whine they are “nothing” without their frozen confections, but the sassy new stick boldly asserts he could be something, “maybe a horse.” At bedtime, Rosie wishes for a treasure chest to help her parents pay their bills while her fingers arrange the sticks into a horse shape. Midnight arrives, and Rosie awakens when a horse named “Stickerino” gallops out of the cigar box, promising to take her where there’s treasure. Rosie and Stickerino fly over cities, jungles, oceans and deserts until they arrive at an ice-pop mountain, where Stickerino “stickles” some pirate toughs while Rosie grabs a treasure chest. Next morning, Rosie presents her amazed father with a chest of gold while the sticks recover from their adventure. Blake’s sprightly, quirky signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations vibrate with playfulness and humor as they transport Rosie and Stickerino from their mundane urban world across color-washed pages to a rainbow-hued ice-pop mountain populated with rascally pirates, hilariously tickled into submission by empowered ice-pop sticks.

It’s an exuberant reminder to dream big, although, sadly, Hoban’s text has been Americanized, losing some of its flavor. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6400-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012

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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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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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