TEN-GALLON BART

Meet Ten-Gallon Bart, sheriff of Dog City, the most peaceful town in the West, because he’s done a bang-up job. But Bart’s tired of being brave and bold, he’s ready to hang up his star and retire. Then the headline shrieks, “Billy the Kid on the Loose! Headed for Dog City on the Noon Train.” Bart rounds up Miss Kitty, Wyatt Burp, Wild Bill Hiccup and Buffalo Gal, who stand behind him (literally) when he meets the train. But the minute Billy the Kid licks his lips and yells, “I’m BAA-AA-AA-D,” everyone in town runs for cover except Bart. He faces the big bad goat head-on, but Billy head-butts him out cold and chomps his hat and star. The town comes to Bart’s rescue and together they alter Billy’s personality. The textured collages corral every bit of Wild West punnery in this laugh-out-loud romp. The large format gives full rein to Donohue’s artwork to detail the wild and woolly action and close-ups, personify the animal characters and exaggerate the ten-gallon hatful of humor overall. A quick-draw of quick-witted guffaws, guaranteed to get your goat and make readers grin. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7614-5246-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2006

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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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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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