A sure hit for Wegman fans, but a miss for those who want a story.

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FLO & WENDELL

An artistic departure into mixed media will spark the interest of Wegman fans in this new offering featuring his famed Weimaraners.

Flo and Wendell are siblings who have different interests but like to play together “…sometimes.” This basic premise carries the loosely constructed text, with pictures far overshadowing the achievement of the writing. In a striking departure from previous titles, Wegman paints atop his photographs to dress up his characters and render the scenery. The visual impact is playful and whimsical, with the painterly, colorful gouache contrasting comically with the serious, almost formal faces of the photographed dogs. Ultimately, the text serves to set up various scenarios for pictures, which include depictions of Flo and Wendell’s parents (their father is a painter, their mother a knitter who even knit a sweater for the family car) and scenes of the pups playing hide-and-seek, among other activities. The result is a book that lacks a story and reads more like a catalog of amusing, whimsical pictures, culminating with a scene of Flo reading Moby-Dick to Wendell before he falls asleep, using a stack of books as a pillow.

A sure hit for Wegman fans, but a miss for those who want a story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3928-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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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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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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