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ANIMALS UPSIDE DOWN

A PULL, POP, LIFT & LEARN BOOK!

A treat for eye and mind alike, besides being suitable for displays and durable enough to stand up to plenty of hands-on use.

More than 26 creatures flip, twist, swivel or simply pose upside down in this neatly laid-out gallery of nature’s acrobats.

A fruit bat and a male bird of paradise pop up to hover gracefully over double-page spreads, but most of Jenkins’ animals move laterally or switch positions with the pull of a tab or lift of a flap. From a pangolin swinging by its tail to reach a termite’s nest and a sparrow hawk twisting in midair to seize a bird from underneath to a net-casting spider dropping a webby trap over a passing fly, the movements are small but consistently natural-looking. The animals are all rendered with typically amazing accuracy from pieces of cut and torn paper. Captions that themselves sometimes curve or stand on their heads identify each animal and comment on how upending helps it to, usually, capture or to keep from becoming food (more information about each is provided on the closing spread). On a lighter note, to cap the lot, a simple but ingenious sliding panel even flips a human silhouette, as “sometimes going topsy-turvy is just for fun!”

A treat for eye and mind alike, besides being suitable for displays and durable enough to stand up to plenty of hands-on use. (Informational pop-up. 5-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-34127-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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LITTLE DAYMOND LEARNS TO EARN

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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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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