A moo-ve-lous, moo-ving tribute to love for a child.


Cowabunga! Love is surely the cow’s moo-ow!

In this brief, adorable lovefest, a black-and-white adult bovine caregiver expresses heartfelt adoration for its little one using delightful, comical plays on the word moo. Some of the puns are obvious, though they’ll be no less chuckle-inducing to young readers/listeners. Take, for instance, the words moo-d, moo-vies, moo-sic, and moo-se. (A delicious, winking nod to a very famous children’s-book title also appears near the end.) Some puns are trickier, with moo’s occurring midword—hu-moo-r; marsh-moo-llows—and/or appearing in less familiar words, such as moo-zzarella, com-moo-nicator, and sch-moo-zing. In every case, moo is depicted with the o’s filled in so it stands out in sharp relief whenever it appears. This helps youngsters identify targeted words both visually and aurally. Aside from its value as a very simply told, sweet, humorous, reassuring charmer, this book develops vocabulary creatively. After children have listened to the story, they should have an udderly grand time volunteering their own word lists that might include plays on moo and other cow-related words. Even the calf in the story gets into the act with its own moo pun at the end. Simple illustrations feature bold outlines; a basic tan, black, and white palette with touches of red; and occasional changes in lettering and font for emphasis. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 82.8% of actual size.)

A moo-ve-lous, moo-ving tribute to love for a child. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4706-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”


Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Hee haw.

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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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