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

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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Hee haw.

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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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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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