Only confirmed ailurophobes will fail to enjoy sharing these kitties’ day.


A marmalade kitten and friends search a crowded cat world for a mouse named Sleepy.

When Mom cat asks what happened to Sleepy, this kitten knows she means the crowned mouse known as “Prince of the Night” and “Master of Dreams.” The kitten continues, “But where is he now? Where could Sleepy be? / Not here around us. He’s run away, free!” With a spread-spanning cry of “LET’S GET SLEEPY!!!” a bevy of kittens bursts out of the house to look, at first just around the neighborhood. Nope. There’s a parade going on in town, but the kittens don’t find Sleepy. The next “LET’S GET SLEEPY!!!!” hies the friends to “Sunny Sands Beach! Is this where he’ll be? / We’ll search and we’ll seek and ask friends that we meet.” The kittens’ search takes them to the mountains, a swamp, a cave, and even the moon…but they never find Sleepy. Readers will understand why, as each location presents a bustling scene in which Sleepy figures as a tiny Where’s Waldo–esque target amid teeming masses of bright-eyed, round-headed anthropomorphic kitties (and the occasional dog, elephant, or pterodactyl). Each landscape is rendered in a muted palette dominated by ochre and gold, upping the difficulty. All the figures in each scene appear to have their own backstories, allowing young readers searching for Sleepy to make up any number of additional tales.

Only confirmed ailurophobes will fail to enjoy sharing these kitties’ day. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-30784-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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