One half of this odd couple becomes just a little too odd.

READ REVIEW

WHAT'S COOKING, MOO MOO?

From the Moo Moo & Mr. Quackers series

Moo Moo and Mr. Quackers are not Bert and Ernie.

Odd-couple stories have been popular for a long time and for many audiences: Oscar and Felix, Elephant and Piggie, R2-D2 and C-3P0. It’s possible that the stories are successful because the characters balance each other in an almost mystical way. The fussbudget becomes a little less serious, and the goofy bon vivant becomes less reckless. But there isn’t much balance in this picture book. When Moo Moo abruptly says, “We’re opening up our very own restaurant!” Mr. Quackers doesn’t really object even though Moo Moo has taken her friend’s life savings to pay for it. He hardly complains even when it becomes clear that Moo Moo can’t cook. The chef’s special is “all my favorite foods mixed together.” Mr. Quackers’ failure to react makes Moo Moo seem overbearing. Some readers will feel sorry for the duck, but others will think he’s kind of a doormat. He makes a few sardonic comments, but after crowds flee the restaurant, he just says, “At least we got to spend quality time together!” Miller’s line drawings are hilarious: Moo Moo juggling a boom box and a cake; Moo Moo flying through the air, held aloft by balloons. But the character is most endearing when she doesn’t speak.

One half of this odd couple becomes just a little too odd. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-241441-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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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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