Lots of giggles in this delightfully goofy tale.


From the Wrong Fairy Tale series

In a mashup of two iconic fairy tales, Goldilocks finds herself in the middle of the Three Little Pigs’ battle with the Big Bad Wolf.

When Goldilocks spots an unfamiliar brick house in the woods, she must satisfy her curiosity and barge right in. The three pigs living there are hiding in a closet, frightened by the probable reappearance of their archenemy, the Big Bad Wolf. Goldilocks, brazen as always, heads straight for the porridge, trying each one and enjoying the one that is just right. At that point all three pigs realize Goldilocks has involved herself in the wrong fairy tale, and they tell her so. But here comes the wolf, who, failing to blow down the brick house, tries to come down the chimney. Goldilocks and the pigs work together to build a fire that will get rid of him once and for all. (He is singed and scared but otherwise unharmed.) Thus the wrong fairy tale still leads to a happy ending, with Goldilocks and the pigs best friends forever. Little readers who know both tales will find great joy in pointing out the anomalies while newcomers to the fairy-tale world will love the silly adventures. Turner has created a fun-filled romp greatly aided by Macon’s very brightly hued cartoons depicting a wild-haired, big-eyed Goldilocks (who presents White) and pink pigs whose every emotion is seen in exaggerated facial expressions and body language. Pair it with Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s fractured fairy tales or Turner and Macon’s own Jack and the Three Bears (publishing simultaneously); either way the fun increases.

Lots of giggles in this delightfully goofy tale. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-160-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.


Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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