Fans of this series will enjoy this trio of friends in their second, mostly funny, outing.

READ REVIEW

MY KITE IS STUCK!

AND OTHER STORIES

From the Duck, Duck, Porcupine! series

Loud and confident Big Duck, her clever brother, Little Duck, and their agreeable purple friend, Porcupine, return in this early reader with three humorous but uneven adventures.

As in series opener Duck, Duck, Porcupine (2016), Yoon uses word recognition, repetition, and visual storytelling to highlight these three friends’ adventures. The simple digital art, bold, with thick black outlines and vivid colors, expertly uses facial expressions and body language to support the text. The text is presented entirely in the form of dialogue bubbles in graphic-novel style. In the first adventure, “My Kite Is Stuck!” observant Little Duck with his blue baseball cap quietly saves the day when their toys are stuck up a tree. And he does it again in the third story, when Big Duck and Porcupine work together to set up the “Best Lemonade Stand” but hilariously forget one (very!) essential item. However, the middle adventure, “A New Friend,” in which this trio tries to make friends with different “bugs” (a bumblebee and a spider), fails to rise to the level of effectiveness and humor of the other two adventures. Reserved Little Duck does not talk throughout the book; but in a few special panels, he breaks the frame, looking out at the audience and making eye contact with readers.

Fans of this series will enjoy this trio of friends in their second, mostly funny, outing. (Graphic early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61963-887-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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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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