“Because they know it’s true… / The best thing in the world is being happy being you!” (Picture book. 4-8)

READ REVIEW

T. VEG

THE STORY OF A CARROT-CRUNCHING DINOSAUR

Reg loves to munch the veg—unfortunately he’s a T. Rex.

“Reginald the T. Rex had a fierce and mighty roar! / His fierce and mighty footsteps thundered through the jungle floor.” He’s excellent at tooth-gnashing and leaping, but there is one thing that differentiates him from his fellow T. Rexes: “while the other T. Rexes munched on juicy steak… // Reginald the T. Rex ate crunchy carrot cake!” He tells them about the wonders of delicious broccoli, grapes, mangos, parsnips, and a host of other veggies and fruit—but his parents worry about him and others laugh at him. Reg goes in search of other herbivores, but they’re scared of him. Meanwhile, his family and friends miss him. A near disaster on their hunt for Reg brings everyone back together, and they have a veggie party. British author Prasadam-Halls rhymes up a rollicking tale of vegetarianism and individuality. Messages of acceptance of difference and healthy eating are intrinsic to character and story. Ingenious rhymes (with British pronunciations) make for a fun and funny read aloud. Manolessou’s bright purple, green, and orange dinosaurs pop off the pages and may just get listeners up and moving to mimic the dancing, jumping, and running dinos.

“Because they know it’s true… / The best thing in the world is being happy being you!” (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2494-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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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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Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

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