A thin-sauce, phoned-in sequel.

THE DINOSAUR THAT POOPED THE BED!

Danny’s one-trick dino again goes with the flow.

Forbidden to watch TV until he’s cleaned his room, rightly dubbed “Mount Dumpy,” Danny invites his outsized sidekick to hoover up all the toys, dirty clothes, and bric-a-brac. A double crisis ensues, as not only does Dinosaur swell up to the point that the door is blocked (“Then Dan started crying. / His nose dripped with snot. / They were stuck in their room and the TV was not!”), but the inevitable diarrheic deluge redeposits all the junk amid “smelly poo lumps.” This eco-disaster seems pretty small scale, considering that in previous outings the dinosaur …Pooped a Planet (2017) and …Pooped the Past (2018), and the poo in Parsons’ antiseptic cartoons barely twitches the gross-o-meter. It just looks like pumpkin-pie filling and fails to stick even a little to Danny’s possessions, as they emerge unaffected by their passage through the dinosaur’s bowels. Moreover, once the poo’s out, rather than go for more alimentary gags, the authors just skip ahead to a disingenuous moral: “You can’t watch cartoons if your bedroom’s not clean!” Danny and his family present white.

A thin-sauce, phoned-in sequel. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9870-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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An interesting premise but the execution is underwhelming.

STELLA KEEPS THE SUN UP

Stella hates going to bed, so she and her best buddy attempt to prevent the sun from setting.

Imaginative Stella, a young Black girl with Afro puffs, misses her friend Kamrynn, a light-skinned, straight-haired girl who has moved to “the other side of the world.” Luckily, Stella still has her best pal Roger, a blue hippo stuffie. Neither Stella nor Roger like sleeping: “Why do we have to miss all the fun and go to bed just because it gets dark?” Deciding that “if it never gets dark, then we can stay awake forever,” the duo work tirelessly to “keep the sun awake.” They play loud music, shine flashlights at the sun, and even make various attempts to launch a cup of coffee up to the celestial orb in hopes that caffeine will keep it alert. Eventually, the pair quit when they realize that if the sun never sets for them, morning can never come for Kamrynn, who wakes up when they go to bed. Despite the book’s sweet touches, the narrative is weakened by some meandering irrelevancies that make the plot feel disconnected. Also, at the beginning of the story, Stella seems enamored of the moon—she wishes she could jump high enough to kiss it—yet she and Roger spend the bulk of the book trying to prevent nightfall; this discrepancy may give some readers pause. The digital, cartoonlike illustrations are bright, colorful, and cheerful but don’t make up for the shaky plotting.

An interesting premise but the execution is underwhelming. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-8785-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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