A joyous, heartwarming, sweet—and essential—update.

READ REVIEW

UNCLE BOBBY'S WEDDING

Uncle Bobby is getting married—but his niece Chloe doesn’t know if that is a good idea.

When Uncle Bobby announces at the first picnic of the summer that he and “his friend, Jamie,” are getting married, everyone is happy except Chloe. When she expresses her concern to her mother, Mom says she should talk to Uncle Bobby, who reassures Chloe that they will still have plenty of fun together—and then sets out to prove it. Bobby and Jamie take Chloe to the ballet and joke afterward at a soda shop. They go sailing, and Jamie is the first to jump in when Chloe tumbles out of the boat. Roasting marshmallows over a campfire, Chloe happily says, “I wish both of you were my uncles”—and of course they tell her she will get that wish. Flower girl Chloe helps out at the wedding, and they all dance the night away. Brannen reworks the text of her out-of-print and oft-challenged 2008 title to good effect. The tale of a child’s uncertainty and jealousy at her uncle’s wedding someone who just happens to be another man and the family’s carefree celebration of that union remains essentially the same. Soto’s bright, friendly cartoons, however, depict a diverse human cast—Uncle Bobby presents white and Jamie presents black—representing a quantum leap forward over the original’s anthropomorphic guinea pigs. Chloe has light beige skin; her mother presents white, and her father’s skin is a shade darker than Chloe's.

A joyous, heartwarming, sweet—and essential—update. (Picture book. 2-9)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1008-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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