FRIENDS ARE FUN

From the I Like To Read series

A more-than-just-OK tale for new readers who appreciate lively friendship stories.

Having good friends is always OK.

Pete, a colorful parrot, lives alone on an island in the middle of the sea. Pete’s OK with this. A sign reading “Pete,” nailed to a palm tree, announces the parrot’s presence. One day, Turtle comes, asking to stay; Pete says OK, and the pair enjoy fishing together. Dog arrives next and wants to stay. Pete issues the usual response, though a trifle doubtfully, and the trio play companionably. Then Elephant comes. Pete agrees, looking even more skeptical—the little island is looking smaller by the minute—but all get along. What comes next? A storm. That’s not OK, but Elephant helps her friends, letting them nestle on her body when they’re blown off the island. The following morning, Elephant and Dog depart, and Pete invites them back anytime they want to return; Turtle remains with Pete on the island. Pete’s not alone anymore—which is very OK. A new sign—reading “and friend”—goes up under “Pete.” This cute, simple story will be great fun for children getting into the reading groove. Each page features just one, or occasionally two, brief sentences with predictable patterns. Emergent readers will hone their skills on basic sight words and words that use long and short vowel sounds. The dynamic illustrations depict expressive, wide-eyed pals and help focus attention on the spirited action.

A more-than-just-OK tale for new readers who appreciate lively friendship stories. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9780823454785

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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THE WONKY DONKEY

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. 28, 2018

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