Fans of the TV special will be drawn to this edition of the beloved story; others may want to check out the new...

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

THE CLASSIC STORY: DELUXE 50TH-ANNIVERSARY EDITION

The version of the holiday story that has been shown on television for the past 50 years is the basis for this interpretation of Rudolph’s tale.

Most of the elements of the story everybody knows already are here. As a young reindeer, Rudolph doesn’t fit in due to his glowing nose, and he befriends Hermey, an elf who doesn’t fit in because he wants to be a dentist rather than an assistant to Santa. They set off together and avoid capture by the Abominable Snow Monster with the help of a woodsman named Yukon and his sled-dog team. The rather lengthy text rushes through the plot of the TV special, and there are a few plot developments that are solved without motivation, such as the Abominable Snow Monster’s sudden transformation from enemy to friend. Bright, hard-edged illustrations reflect the animated origins of this version, bearing a flattened appearance, as though a TV image had been captured for reference. Rudolph, Hermey and Santa are attractive characters, and the Abominable Snow Monster offers just a touch of scary menace to be overcome. There’s a none-too-subtle message about accepting those who are different, whether a reindeer with a red nose, a dentally minded elf or residents of the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph uses his special red nose to guide the sleigh team, but that accomplishment is curiously downplayed at the conclusion.

Fans of the TV special will be drawn to this edition of the beloved story; others may want to check out the new interpretation of the original story by Robert L. May, publishing on Sept. 30, 2014. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-04760-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Square Fish

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

more