SISTERS & BROTHERS

SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS IN THE ANIMAL WORLD

Choosing yet another child-friendly theme, Jenkins and Page explore sibling relationships in the animal world. Beginning with numbers of brothers and sisters and going on to the nature and length of the relationship, page by page they introduce varied species from around the world. Giant anteaters are only children, for instance; cichlids and myna birds may have stepsiblings. Grizzly bear brothers grow up fighting each other; peregrine falcon siblings practice hunting with each other. Jenkins’s signature cut- and torn-paper images artfully spread across clean white pages with just a paragraph of text and label for each relationship. The creators of this intriguing survey include mammals, from elephants to mole rats, insects, birds and fish. Two pages of animal facts at the end add further information, usually the animal’s size, where it lives and what it eats. These appear in the order established in the body of the text, but no page numbers assist the reader looking for something particular. This is an unfortunate but minor flaw in an otherwise splendid contribution, another winner from an accomplished team. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-618-37596-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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TURKEY TROUBLE

From the Turkey Trouble series

Turkey’s in the “kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving...and you’re the main course.” Accordingly, Turkey tries on disguise after disguise, from horse to cow to pig to sheep, at each iteration being told that he looks nothing like the animal he’s trying to mimic (which is quite true, as Harper’s quirky watercolors make crystal clear). He desperately squeezes a red rubber glove onto his head to pass as a rooster, only to overhear the farmer suggest a poultry plan B when he’s unable to turn up the turkey. Turkey’s horrified expression as he stands among the peppers and tomatoes—in November? Chalk it up to artistic license—is priceless, but his surroundings give him an idea. Good fun, but it may lead to a vegetarian table or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5529-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

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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

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