Dudley's inflated ego makes him one doggy dud.

READ REVIEW

SUPER-DUPER DUDLEY!

A self-centered canine belongs in the doghouse.

Dudley Dog seeks constant praise from his terrier sidekick Bonzo. Always calling for attention, Dudley balances precariously on his bike, dangles upside down from Grandma Goat's tree, and sends ducks running for cover when he dives head-first into the wading pool. Bonzo admires these daring feats, but Dudley's attitude (“There's only room for one megastar in this village. And that megastar is me!”) forces Bonzo to follow his own path. When jealous Dudley realizes that Bonzo's piano playing charms everyone in town, the bossy pooch stages his own talent show. Though initially successful, Dudley's musical inability leaves the audience wincing (one sheep puts a pail over his head to muffle the racket). Unaccountably, Bonzo comes to the rescue, Dudley finally accepts Bonzo's paw of friendship, and the show continues without a hitch. Dudley never grows into a likable character: Bonzo is the only one working at the friendship, and Dudley only accepts Bonzo's kindness when it benefits him. Bright colors fit the carnival atmosphere; Dudley's rhinestone collar and sparkling-star leotard shine. The depiction of his dramatic stunts moves the action forward to its resolution. Campy dialogue (“It's going to be a quacker!”) and the sappy conclusion sound off-key notes.

Dudley's inflated ego makes him one doggy dud. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-56148-743-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Good Books

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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