The genuine love expressed between owner and pet fortifies the responsibilities Patch’s owner undertakes.

MY PUPPY PATCH

A young child is confident a new puppy will adhere to newly learned rules on a first outing beyond the backyard fence.

The unnamed, pigtailed, bespectacled narrator is patient yet strict with their new dog, Patch, named for the black splotch over one eye. They practice the commands of “sit,” “down,” and “stay” (a hard one) to prepare. Once they open the gate and venture out, the leashed Patch is quite excited to encounter butterflies, bugs, and muddy puddles. The highlight of the walk is when they meet Benny, a little boy with his new puppy, a much larger, shaggy canine called Smallfry. “The two puppies leap…and roll…and tussle.” After untangling their leashes, Patch and her owner walk home for a cleanup, some water, and a nap. Fundamentals of puppy training and pet ownership are the underlying themes that give structure to this rather bland storyline—both Benny and the narrator are careful to disclose that their pups have had their shots before allowing them to play, for instance. Carter supplies attractive illustrations done with colored pencil, watercolor, and digital media against a stark white background. The narrator presents white and Benny black; the narrator’s jewel-toned, print dress is especially attractive.

The genuine love expressed between owner and pet fortifies the responsibilities Patch’s owner undertakes. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77278-080-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Hee haw.

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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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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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