THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD

A shy orphan’s dreams of adoption come true. Little Carlota is called into the office of the orphanage director, who happily informs her that she’s soon to be placed with a family. Too excited to sleep, Carlota imagines all kinds of new parents—pirates, astronauts, pastry chefs and tiger trainers. Her real new family isn’t quite that exotic, but each has qualities of her fantasy families: Her mother often brings pastry home, father digs for buried treasure in a vacant lot next door, grandma has playful striped cats and new brother Pedro decorates her bedroom with stars and hanging planets. She knows she has the best family in the world. The warmth of Wensell’s illustrations matches the gentle narrative, a modern fairy tale. This Spanish import does not seek to explain anything about the adoption process, thus rendering it nicely universal. It distinguishes itself further from other books on the topic by posing a preschool-age child as its protagonist, rather than a child adopted as an infant. Neatly pitched for its target audience. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-935279-47-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2010

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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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PANDA KISSES

When a young panda asks each of his parents for a kiss, they give him choices: “A soft kiss? / A sweet kiss? / A sticky bamboo treat kiss?” High or low, in the sun or the rain, from a bunny or a fish? In the end the young panda determines that “There are many kisses that will do! / But the best kiss is—from both of you!” A large font, rhythm and rhyme, picture clues and a low word count per page will help emergent readers succeed. Widdowson’s bright illustrations scatter Chinese elements throughout, adding international flair, and sprinkle other animals exchanging smooches for extra interest. A sweet treat to share with a beginning reader. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-84562-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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