A PLATYPUS, PROBABLY

Parallel texts and colorful, detailed illustrations introduce the curious Australian mammal, the platypus, to younger readers. Collard presents basic information in short lines; details that are more complex are added on the same page in a smaller font. So while the younger reader learns that this nocturnal Australian mammal breathes air but feeds under water, the older reader learns how long it can stay under while foraging and is introduced to monotremes, mammals that lay eggs and have patches of milk-oozing skin. The reader will learn facts about the history, physiology, feeding behavior, range and reproductive habits, but not find the answer to the basic question: How big is it? The veteran illustrator, trained in zoology, has paid special attention to details of the animal’s habitat in the beautiful double-paged spreads, and brought the platypus back into the child’s world with the final silhouette of a fishing father and son, noticing a ripple in otherwise calm waters. An interesting informational read or read-aloud for the young animal lover. (author’s note, glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-57091-583-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

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

Did you like this book?

JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more