Next book

THE ADVENTURES OF BLACK DOG

BEACHED WHALE

Perhaps future outings of the Shenandoah will prove more seaworthy.

It’s Black Dog and the crew of the schooner Shenandoah to the rescue!

In the harbor at Vineyard Haven there is adventure afoot. “It always starts in the same way / and ends when Black Dog saves the day.” A bottle washes against the dock, and Captain reads the note inside. Whale is in trouble! “Bark! Bark! Bark! ‘Let’s go and help!’ / Her message spreads from fish to kelp.” Kids Tess and Jack join Captain and Black Dog, and they sail off to help the whale. They pour seawater on the cetacean to keep him cool before pulling him back out to sea. Whale thanks them, and “With a last tail wave and a great big SPLISH, / Whale dives down to greet some fish.” Black Dog and the crew return home satisfied. “Black Dog, Captain and the schooner’s crew / Will go on other journeys too.” Employing doggerel that doesn’t always scan or even make total sense, teen author Schmidt (Hold Me Like a Breath, 2015, etc.) makes an inauspicious picture-book debut with this first of a projected series of adventures for Black Dog and company. Theophilopoulos’ animation-inspired illustrations are barely serviceable, not nearly accomplished enough to make up for the tortured rhyming text.

Perhaps future outings of the Shenandoah will prove more seaworthy. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9960666-1-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Adaptive Studios

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 71


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 71


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

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. 28, 2018

Categories:
Next book

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

Close Quickview