Readers longing for a lid to their own pots, or with similarly challenging behaviors, will find comfort in Broccoli’s tale.



The tricks that make a dog unadoptable in some people’s eyes are just the ticket home for Broccoli.

Broccoli’s lived at Beezley’s Animal Shelter for most of his life, alongside fluffy and adorable bunnies, hamsters, and kittens, all under the care of the kind, elderly Beezleys. Mrs. Beezley lovingly brushes each animal before opening, pronouncing, “There’s a lid for every pot and a pot for every lid.” But Mr. Beezley isn’t so sure about the lid for messy Broccoli’s pot. The dog’s tricks include tossing his water-filled dish in the air and catching it on his head, playing high-speed games of chase with his tail, and giving “warnings” with his deep and large bark. When he soaks the entire shop, Mr. Beezley puts him in the storeroom...but will the pot that is Broccoli and the lid that is the little boy longing for a dog miss each other because of this? The despondent dog finally rallies when he spies the little boy’s lost ball on a storeroom shelf. His antics get both him and the ball noticed, and Broccoli’s finally found his lid (in more ways than one). Jones nicely builds suspense, and readers will be rooting for the dog by the end. Everyone is round-headed and rosy-cheeked (and most are Caucasian) in her watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations.

Readers longing for a lid to their own pots, or with similarly challenging behaviors, will find comfort in Broccoli’s tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-230351-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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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 lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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