Lots of stories address getting a dog, but this tale recounts practical steps in successfully working toward a goal, with...

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TWO GIRLS WANT A PUPPY

Sisters Cadence and Emi use both logical and creative approaches to convince their dad they should be allowed to adopt a puppy.

The bubbly little girls are full of reasons for a puppy, but their firm but fair father is just as full of explanations why the girls aren’t ready for the responsibilities of dog ownership. The steps to successful achievement of a difficult goal and management of negotiations between opposing sides are skillfully woven into the story, with key vocabulary words highlighted in boldface type. The sisters draw up a written plan to achieve their goal and address each point of their numbered list in some way. The girls take care of a neighbor’s dog, research different dog breeds, and create their own book about the value of owning a dog. Their efforts result in their father’s admission that his daughters have shown they can be “persistent, responsible, smart, and creative.” Together, girls and dad choose an appealing puppy from a shelter. Cheerful, cartoon-style illustrations capture the warm atmosphere of this single-parent household, complemented by lots of display type in varying sizes and colors.

Lots of stories address getting a dog, but this tale recounts practical steps in successfully working toward a goal, with the kids solving their own problem. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 30, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-229261-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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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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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