DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE WILL GROW?

Shea’s children’s-book debut is a clever, rhymed test of kids’ notions of living and nonliving things that's great for both lap and group sharing. “If you look around you’ll see, / Some things grow, like you and me… / Do you know which ones will grow? / Think, then answer yes or no.” What follows is a terrific interplay of rhyming questions and cunningly designed gatefold illustrations: “If a calf grows and becomes a cow, / can a shovel grow and become…/ a plow?” The left side pictures the cows, while the right-hand page shows a huge shovel and pail. A flip of the fold reveals the corner of the shovel becoming a part of a truck-mounted plow. Other rhymes include duck and truck, bear and chair, cat and hat, goat and coat, towel and owl, snake and cake, pig and rig, fox and clock and kangaroo and you. The final two pages summarize the answers, still keeping the rhythm and rhyme. Slaughter’s illustrations bring pop art to mind: vivid reds, blues, yellows and greens, few details, simple backgrounds and blocks of color. Many of the objects are cut-paper silhouettes against a painted background. Between its allure as an audience-participation read-aloud and its numerous classroom uses (living/nonliving, analogies, rhymes, spelling rules, baby animal names, creative thinking…) clear a space on the shelves for this one, even though it may never be there for long. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60905-062-7

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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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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Lê’s compelling storyline is propelled forward by Santat’s illustrations, each capturing both the universal longing to...

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DRAWN TOGETHER

The power of art takes center stage in this cleverly titled story of a Thai-speaking grandfather connecting to his assimilated American grandson.

The title page introduces readers to a sullen-faced Asian boy as he walks up to a door and rings the bell. After a traditional bow of greeting, the grandfather, dressed like Mr. Rogers in a white shirt and red sweater, wordlessly welcomes the grandson inside. In paneled artwork, the two unsuccessfully attempt conversation over dinner, with the grandfather speaking in Thai script and the boy speaking in English. Sitting in the uncomfortable silence that cultural divides create, the awkward boy finally walks away to doodle on paper. He draws a wizard with a wand and a conical red hat. Grandpa, recognizing this creative outlet, fetches a sketchbook and, surprisingly, draws his version of a wizard: a tightly detailed warrior clothed in traditional Thai ceremonial dress. The young boy is amazed, marveling that “we see each other for the first time.” The two begin a battle of imagination, wands and paintbrushes thrashing like swords. One draws in energetic colorful cartoons, the other with fierce black-and-white, precisely brushed drawings. Santat elevates their newfound shared passion into energetic, layered, and complex designs, separate and entwined at the same time. They clash with the dragon that divides them and build a new world together “that even words can’t describe.”

Lê’s compelling storyline is propelled forward by Santat’s illustrations, each capturing both the universal longing to connect and the joy of sharing the creative process. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4847-6760-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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