A personable work that tells the tale of a day in the life of an adorable pup.



A dachshund has an eventful day in this debut picture book by Kat and Scott Arbuckle.

One of Stroganoff’s human owners wakes him up with the “Good Morning Stroganoff song,” and the brown canine is “ready…to start the day!” Following breakfast and a walk, Stroganoff is “dog tired” and takes a nap. Afterward, it’s playtime outside; Stroganoff shows his “Blue Bone” toy some pretty flowers and plays fetch with his “BFF,” a ball on a cloth strap called “basket-a-ball.” Later, Stroganoff enjoys white rice­­­—his favorite dish—for dinner. After snacking on a treat that helps keep his teeth clean, the dachshund is ready for bed. His owners tuck him in and say goodnight, and the narrator tells readers that he “can be your best friend too.” Stroganoff is a sweet-looking, energetic protagonist, and the book deftly emphasizes how pets can be important members of families. Young dog owners will find the animal’s adventures relatable as Arbuckle’s digitally altered, cartoonlike photographs colorfully depict him as he sleeps, eats, and plays. A few pages feature Stroganoff’s many nicknames, including “Mr. Floppy,” “Captain Waggles,” and “Foot Warmer.”

A personable work that tells the tale of a day in the life of an adorable pup.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73590-270-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2021

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Hee haw.

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


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

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