This flock rocks.

READ REVIEW

BAWK & ROLL

The further adventures of Elvis Poultry, rooster rock star (Chicken Dance, 2009).

Marge and Lola, Elvis Poultry’s backup Chicken Dancers, wave goodbye to their barnyard buddies from a window of their tour bus. McDoodle's Barnyard is the first stop on their glamorous multi-farm tour. But the crowd is so big and unfamiliar that the hens faint from nerves. They resolve to do better at their next performance venue, but… Elvis parachutes to the stage, making a spectacular soft landing, followed by the thud of Lola and Marge. What to do? They try painting, hypnosis, meditation... but nothing seems to work. Then it hits them: In order to solve their problem, they actually cross the road (to a mailbox)! At the next tour stop, Dale's Dairy Farm, the crowd looks disgruntled. "We're going to get mooed off the stage," Marge predicts. But their entrance is greeted with cheers; all their friends from back on the farm have come out to support them. Elvis is so inspired that he comes up with a brand new song on the spot. His recording of "Blue Moo" shoots to the top of the charts. Can you say superstars? Sauer dispenses her many puns with an appealingly deft touch, offering a genuine lesson on friendship. Santat's illustrations are similarly droll, featuring several clever and surprising page designs, making the most of the opportunity offered by the contrast between stage and audience.

This flock rocks. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-7837-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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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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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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