Lesson learned: The magic of friendship does not depend on where you are or what you are doing—it is about being together...

READ REVIEW

PENGUIN ON VACATION

This delightful companion to Penguin and Pinecone (2012) presents another parable of friendship, this time with an exotic tropical crab.

Penguin is tired of snow. Yearning for something exciting, he decides to head for a sandy beach. He packs his bag and floats north on an iceberg. But this new adventure isn’t quite what he expected. He can’t ski or sled or even skate on sand. When a curious red crab sees Penguin’s distress, he asks, “Are you lost?” “No, I’m on vacation,” says the frustrated and bewildered bird. Crab takes Penguin under his claw and shows him the ropes. The joys of the beach become clear to Penguin with Crab’s friendship, as they play the sunny days away together. All vacations come to an end, though, and it is soon time for Penguin to return home. But now Crab needs a vacation! The new friends switch roles, allowing Penguin to teach Crab all the wintry wonders of his previously boring home. With her signature thick lines, pure colors and scratchy textures, Yoon creates a beach backdrop to showcase Penguin’s tender personality. When the book begins, perceptive readers might recognize a tinge of loneliness in Penguin, and they will see how having a friend makes even the familiar seem more exciting.

Lesson learned: The magic of friendship does not depend on where you are or what you are doing—it is about being together and learning from each other. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3397-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more