A lesson in sharing that goes down as easily as, well, cake.

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I LOVE CAKE!

STARRING RABBIT, PORCUPINE, AND MOOSE

A pig of a moose learns how to make it up to his friends when he missteps.

Rabbit, Porcupine, and Moose are best friends who love to play together. Rabbit is good at being the boss, Porcupine is good at having fun, and Moose is just Moose (readers will quickly see that he’s a little sassy). On Rabbit’s birthday, all three are excited at the prospect of a party. But when Moose smells the cake baking, he follows his nose away from the festivities and into trouble with his friends. He denies it when they accuse him of eating all the cake, but a burp gives him away. He then tries to make light of what he’s done, but Rabbit (who’s “hopping mad”) and Porcupine (who’s getting “prickly”) won’t have it. Moose is left alone trying to figure out a way to make it up to them. His solution will not surprise readers, but it does surprise his friends, who at first have a hard time forgiving. And Moose seems to have learned his lesson: “I love cake! But… / I love sharing it with friends even more.” Rozelaar’s digital illustrations portray Moose as a big-eyed, rather bumbling goof (in a wildly patterned and colorful sweater) next to his more delicate (and hapless in the case of Porcupine) friends, setting up the story nicely.

A lesson in sharing that goes down as easily as, well, cake. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-227894-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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