There’s a place for everyone at this dog park, with an inclusive, cheerful atmosphere and a subtle message that everyone can...

READ REVIEW

BARK PARK!

Dogs of many sizes and breeds accompany their owners to an extensive dog park for a day of canine cavorting.

The story begins with two dogs, a Chihuahua and a Great Dane that live together, waiting by their door with excitement about going to the park. Other dogs proceed in turn to the park with their owners, a multicultural cast of human characters of different ages and ethnicities. The dog owners include older adults, two women in hijabs, and an interracial pair of dads with their baby. The dogs and their humans play and interact in small groups in vignettes and single-page illustrations, followed by a double-page spread with all the characters in action spread across the wide expanse of the well-appointed park. The dogs and owners then return to their homes for food and naps, during which some of the dogs dream of their time at the park. The minimal text unfolds in rhyming couplets with just a few words per page. The spare text is well-matched with delicate, detailed illustrations in pen and ink with watercolor and colored pencil, with extensive use of white space. This deceptively simple story can be used with a wide range of young readers: toddlers just starting to listen to real stories, preschoolers who like finding tiny details in illustrations, and emergent readers who will be able to handle the short, amusing text.

There’s a place for everyone at this dog park, with an inclusive, cheerful atmosphere and a subtle message that everyone can play together and get along. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3075-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE WONKY DONKEY

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

Did you like this book?

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more