For an unabashedly unsentimental laugh-out-loud tale that celebrates fathers’ loving, playful side—as well as their...

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GIDDY-UP, DADDY!

In this hilarious romp, a daddy must call upon his stellar horsing-around abilities to guarantee a good time be had by all.

“Once there was a dad who was really good at playing horsey. Seriously, he was the best.” This first page of the book shows little brother and older sister perched on his back ready for adventure. One day, dad is outside practicing his jumps when a couple of sinister horse rustlers capture him. So begins the quest to find dad, rescue him and escape up north. Their journey takes them at a rapid pace to a rodeo, onto the tight rope in a circus tent, into the middle of a polo match, onto the racetrack during the Kentucky Derby and up the side of a Canadian mountain. During each part of their travels, Daddy makes sure to keep them safe since they are constantly just one step ahead of rustlers. With danger always lurking, the text has a lot of “but then”s spurring readers to quickly turn each page. Cummings dresses the thrilling tale with cartoony illustrations chock-full of zany details that kids will find appealing (but perhaps at times a bit frenetic). As one can guess, the kids save the day and their horsey daddy all in time for dinnertime at sunset.

For an unabashedly unsentimental laugh-out-loud tale that celebrates fathers’ loving, playful side—as well as their stamina—look no further. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-97856-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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