It’s certainly not a completely new idea that the animals dance overnight, but this makes a good addition to...

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ZOOGIE BOOGIE FEVER!

AN ANIMAL DANCE BOOK

The zoo at night is a hip and happenin’ place!

“Have you ever wondered why all the animals at the zoo seem so tired?” Ever wondered why they sleep all the time? What do they do “when NO ONE is looking?” Well, first the giraffes make sure no humans are around. They alert the elephants, who notify the monkeys, and then the birds spread the word that it’s time to Zoogie Boogie! Every animal dances to its own tune. They warm up with some wiggles and sways and jumps, all related in an infectiously catchy chant: “Look how FAST! Look how s l o w! Watch them TWIRL. Watch them GO!” Some dance moves have names, but others do not. When the zookeeper comes by, every animal stops and holds still. Then they start jiving again, doing the Zoogie Boogie all night long. They’re done just in time for the zoo to open…and that is why the animals are asleep every time you visit (just don’t tell anyone). Rim’s exuberant, mixed-media illustrations combine splashy watercolors, cut and torn paper, and photo collage, all in appropriately robust and colorful hues. They depict animals in boots and skirts and top hats and leg warmers, and they will have little readers doing free-form boogies of their own.

It’s certainly not a completely new idea that the animals dance overnight, but this makes a good addition to after-hours-at-the-zoo tales. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-545-90005-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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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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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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