This heartfelt, humane vignette provides just the right details to appeal to animal-loving children.

READ REVIEW

WHEN ANJU LOVED BEING AN ELEPHANT

An elephant’s lifelong journey from the island of Sumatra to an American traveling circus, a zoo and finally a sanctuary is recounted in this graceful and poignant story.

Anju’s early idyll in her natural habitat is abruptly halted when, at the age of five, she is taken from her family and forced into the demanding life of a circus elephant, then placed within the confinement of a zoo. Now, 50 years later, Anju is being led and coaxed on another journey, one that her mahout Vincent promises will help her retire with dignity and safety. Butler’s realistic paintings in acrylic and colored pencil deliver a soft, hazy muted quality that provides balance to the gentle and often lyrical narration, which highlights Anju’s flashback memories of her childhood life with fellow young elephant Lali. “The rhythmic, lapping waters of the surrounding Indian Ocean and South China Sea were their island lullaby. Closing their long-lashed eyelids and lying together with their families, Anju and Lali slept in the tall, ticklish grasses, heartbeat-to-heartbeat.” Anju enters her new home with trepidation yet is welcomed by a kind mahout and new elephant companion who greet her with encouraging tenderness. An elephant Q&A and information on helping elephants provides background and a means to action for engaged readers.

This heartfelt, humane vignette provides just the right details to appeal to animal-loving children. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-533-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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?

more