SLIPPERY, SLIMY BABY FROGS

From conception to adult froghood, this spectacular photo essay clearly explains the changes that happen as frogs grow up. Beautifully reproduced large-scale close-ups of 15 different frogs from around the world highlight the variety of ways they pass through each stage, from egg to tadpole (most of them) to adult frog, as well as the ways parents care or don’t care for them. The text is relatively simple and direct; unusual words are italicized and defined in a glossary/index in the back, which provides pronunciations as well. A world map shows the countries where the frogs were photographed and provides a scientific name, though no page number, for each frog described. The author briefly mentions the issue of declining frog populations and includes a page of clear instructions for raising your own baby frogs if you live in an area where populations are stable. This fascinating description respects the intelligence of young readers, appealing to their curiosity about the natural world and their understandable interest in other childhoods. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8027-8062-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2006

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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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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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