Corderoy and Berger have concocted a splendid follow-up (Hubble, Bubble, Granny Trouble, 2012) full of gentle humor...

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WHIZZ! POP! GRANNY, STOP!

Granny sure knows how to cast a spell, but her granddaughter, who narrates, just wants to spend time getting ready for her upcoming birthday party without using the special “Helping Kit.”

Readers may think it would be cool to have a grandmother who is a witch, but Granny’s magic tricks frequently yield unexpected and somewhat disastrous results: A bad-hair-day fix leaves the granddaughter with a hot pink bouffant do, for instance. So Granny agrees to help bake a cake from scratch and sew together a new dress from some “found…strips of red.” Kids will snicker at the ramshackle results, but the granddaughter could not be happier with the less-than-perfect preparations since all has been “made with tons of love.” The guests arrive, and everyone has fun. But afterward, Granny and her granddaughter are left with a colossal mess. Granny comes to the rescue with a “Whizz! Pop!” that thoroughly cleans everything up just in time for one last birthday gift. The final spread dramatically differs from the dominant pastel pinks, blues and grays that have come before to show a fireworks “Happy Birthday” message brightly popping against the black night sky.

Corderoy and Berger have concocted a splendid follow-up (Hubble, Bubble, Granny Trouble, 2012) full of gentle humor spotlighting the special relationship between grandmothers and granddaughters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6551-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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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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A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history.

THE SCARECROW

Ferry and the Fans portray a popular seasonal character’s unlikely friendship.

Initially, the protagonist is shown in his solitary world: “Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / the mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” His presence is effective; the animals stay outside the fenced-in fields, but the omniscient narrator laments the character’s lack of friends or places to go. Everything changes when a baby crow falls nearby. Breaking his pole so he can bend, the scarecrow picks it up, placing the creature in the bib of his overalls while singing a lullaby. Both abandon natural tendencies until the crow learns to fly—and thus departs. The aabb rhyme scheme flows reasonably well, propelling the narrative through fall, winter, and spring, when the mature crow returns with a mate to build a nest in the overalls bib that once was his home. The Fan brothers capture the emotional tenor of the seasons and the main character in their panoramic pencil, ballpoint, and digital compositions. Particularly poignant is the close-up of the scarecrow’s burlap face, his stitched mouth and leaf-rimmed head conveying such sadness after his companion goes. Some adults may wonder why the scarecrow seems to have only partial agency, but children will be tuned into the problem, gratified by the resolution.

A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247576-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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