Nestled among the burping bats and mischievous frogs, a lesson on appreciating differences is charmingly presented. Let this...

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HUBBLE BUBBLE GRANNY TROUBLE

As they say, be careful what you wish for…

No one wants a relative to stand out too much, especially for the wrong reasons. A young girl hopes her beloved grandmother—who just happens to be a witch—would learn to be more conventional. Corderoy sets a conversational pace to help readers sympathize with the main character’s plight: “My granny’s kind of different…” What follows are spreads dominated by pinks and purples that capture the peculiar occurrences that whirl around Granny wherever she goes. The rhyming text describes Granny cooking “icky soup” full of “slime and sludge and bits of froggy-poop” and driving a “crazy car” with “no roof or seats or wheels…most bizarre!” But often the text only hints at a situation gone awry, and it is Berger’s hilarious digital illustrations that will have readers giggling here and squealing there. At one point the girl convinces Granny to give being “normalish” a try. The makeover initially seems a success, “but something wasn’t right. She seemed like someone else’s granny, strolling home that night.” When Granny ends up in bed bored and sad, the girl soon realizes that grandmother’s witchy ways should be celebrated instead of changed.

Nestled among the burping bats and mischievous frogs, a lesson on appreciating differences is charmingly presented. Let this tale work its magic throughout the year. (Picture book. 3-6) 

Pub Date: July 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5904-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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