Dressing up and some cross-dressing result in a happy relationship for a girl and a bear.



A long red string becomes the tie that joyously binds.

With much effort, a girl pulls on a long red string, and the results are not what she expected, for at the other end is Hank, a grouchy bear who has now lost his red knit pants. Lucy is an imaginative child and tries very hard to cheer up the bear. She swirls, curls, designs, and dons a series of head ornaments from the red thread but to no avail. Hank “just wanted pants.” Lucy goes back to work and energetically strings a makeshift coverup or two or three for the bear, who nevertheless remains “a bare bear.” Neither is a tutu satisfactory. Finally, Lucy pulls out her knitting needles and creates an oversized sweater for herself and gifts her own black-and-white–striped skirt to a now happy and no longer bare bear. Unfortunately, snipping the yarn that now connects them leads to great unhappiness for Hank, but Lucy is ever resourceful and concocts a perfect solution for the now-good friends. Roeder uses pencils, watercolors, and “lots of digital string” in a palette of red, black, and white to create an imaginative and entertaining tale of crafting and friendship. Lucy is pale-skinned, with a gap-toothed and smiling face adorned with black spiky pigtails.

Dressing up and some cross-dressing result in a happy relationship for a girl and a bear. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3049-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.


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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