A fun romp around the grocery store that kids will relate to and a wonderful read-aloud.

READ REVIEW

MAX EXPLAINS EVERYTHING

GROCERY STORE EXPERT

From the Max Explains Everything series

A trip to the grocery store is so much fun…not.

When it comes to avoiding the grocery store, Max is a pro. “Hide. Fake an injury. Hide again.” If necessary, “Fake a bigger injury,” he advises. But Max knows resistance is futile and also offers survival tactics. First, find the perfect cart, he says. The “classic” and “original” shopping cart “is best” because “it’s sleek, big and fast.” The produce section “is a good place to learn to juggle,” he continues, and “keep a lookout for free samples.” Max also has a big bag of tricks for getting what he wants. “Grab all your favorite cookies and then give your mom your saddest puppy-dog eyes.” And to ensure you’re one step closer to getting a pet, “always grab a bag of dog food.” Hocking cleverly uses double-page spreads for multiple effects. A hand-drawn map illustrates his (Max’s) and her (Mom’s) shopping routes. The cereal aisle, as seen from a kid’s point of view, occupies almost the entire spread, gently mocking the mind-boggling array of cereal varieties available to consumers. After McAnulty’s snappy text weaves in and out of a bag of bagels, ravioli in a can, frozen peas, etc. at the checkout counter, readers learn a very important lesson: At the grocery store, you may not get what you want or remember to buy everything you need, but there’s always candy. Both Mom and Max have light-brown skin and dark hair.

A fun romp around the grocery store that kids will relate to and a wonderful read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-99644-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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