DON’T MENTION PIRATES

A family denies their pirate roots until the scent of buried treasure brings out the pirate in each of them. The Silvers live in a ship-shaped house bequeathed them by their Grandma, Long Joan Silver, after a terrible accident befell her—hence, the taboo on things piratical. But young Scarlet loves everything about pirates. When she discovers a gold nugget one day, the family goes slightly crazy in their quest for more, tying back their hair with bandanas, protecting their eyes from flying mud with patches and adopting pirate lingo. When they eventually dig out their ship house and it’s afloat, they finally admit they’re pirates after all. Obvious inconsistencies plague the text—Dad builds Scarlet a treasure detector, despite the taboo, and Scarlet seems uncharacteristically unenthusiastic about her family’s transformations. But for fans of pirates, McConnell’s bright watercolor illustrations with their humorous details may be enough to salvage the text. Potential pirates will want to uncover this treasure; others may best leave it buried. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7641-5945-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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PANDA KISSES

When a young panda asks each of his parents for a kiss, they give him choices: “A soft kiss? / A sweet kiss? / A sticky bamboo treat kiss?” High or low, in the sun or the rain, from a bunny or a fish? In the end the young panda determines that “There are many kisses that will do! / But the best kiss is—from both of you!” A large font, rhythm and rhyme, picture clues and a low word count per page will help emergent readers succeed. Widdowson’s bright illustrations scatter Chinese elements throughout, adding international flair, and sprinkle other animals exchanging smooches for extra interest. A sweet treat to share with a beginning reader. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-84562-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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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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