Delightful and educational.

READ REVIEW

WE'RE GOING TO THE ZOO!

Can Kitty get her big sister, Clara, to stop texting long enough to enjoy the world around her?

Young Kitty wants to have fun during the summer holidays, but overdramatic sister Clara just likes to declare how bored she is and do…nothing. When Dad suggests a trip to the Dublin Zoo, Kitty’s excited, planning to draw all the animals that she sees. Clara agrees to go, albeit with arms crossed and a sour expression on her face. Kitty draws the fruit bats, throwing in some fruit-bat trivia in Q-and-A form. Clara calls her “weird.” Visits to the elephants, giraffes, and red pandas follow. These last appeal to Clara, and she begins taking selfies with them. She’s getting into the spirit a bit. Kitty and Clara next see the tapirs, the tigers, and the sea lions. Kitty draws them all and shares some more fun facts. Kitty studies an unusual monkey called a macaque, and Clara falls in love with the new baby rhino. Both sisters are fascinated by the meerkats, and Clara feels inspired to collaborate with Kitty on her meerkat drawing. At the day’s end, the sisters have a stronger bond. Bowie’s delightfully shaggy illustrations, which look like they were done by Kitty herself, add immense charm to this story of sisterly understanding and animal exploration. They depict Kitty and her family as white.

Delightful and educational. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-84717-949-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: O'Brien Press/Dufour Editions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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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

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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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