Would that every older child looked after his or her new-to-school younger sibling with such kindness and attention.

ROAR AND SPARKLES GO TO SCHOOL

The bond between a little brother and his big sister helps him tackle his first day of school.

Roar is not ready for the summer to be over. The little dragon loves spending time at the beach with his family, especially his older sister, Sparkles. Besides, fall means school, and Roar is very nervous that he will have to do things that he’s not so sure he can yet, like breathe fire by himself. Sparkles tries to reassure him, but Roar still worries. On the first day, the sister sweetly takes care of her brother, holding his hand as they ride the school bus (a giant flying dragon!) and walking him to class. Roar’s moods quickly morph from worried to happy as he makes a new friend. The school day progresses as it usually does, albeit with some draconic twists, and Roar draws a picture of what he loves most of all: Sparkles, who is there to meet him for the bus ride home. Readers will enjoy the peek at dragon life that Whitehouse provides, from the way Roar’s mom roasts the veggies before they come out of the garden to the pesky winged ponies that must be chased off the roof. In the brightly colored illustrations, yellow Roar looks like his father, and orange Sparkles takes after her mother (the female characters have eyelashes).

Would that every older child looked after his or her new-to-school younger sibling with such kindness and attention. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7624-5986-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THIS BOOK IS GRAY

A gray character tries to write an all-gray book.

The six primary and secondary colors are building a rainbow, each contributing the hue of their own body, and Gray feels forlorn and left out because rainbows contain no gray. So Gray—who, like the other characters, has a solid, triangular body, a doodle-style face, and stick limbs—sets off alone to create “the GRAYest book ever.” His book inside a book shows a peaceful gray cliff house near a gray sea with gentle whitecaps; his three gray characters—hippo, wolf, kitten—wait for their arc to begin. But then the primaries arrive and call the gray scene “dismal, bleak, and gloomy.” The secondaries show up too, and soon everyone’s overrunning Gray’s creation. When Gray refuses to let White and Black participate, astute readers will note the flaw: White and black (the colors) had already been included in the early all-gray spreads. Ironically, Gray’s book within a book displays calm, passable art while the metabook’s unsubtle illustrations and sloppy design make for cramped and crowded pages that are too busy to hold visual focus. The speech-bubble dialogue’s snappy enough (Blue calls people “dude,” and there are puns). A convoluted moral muddles the core artistic question—whether a whole book can be gray—and instead highlights a trite message about working together.

Low grade. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4340-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more