ONE HUNDRED SAUSAGES

A lighthearted frolic with lively illustrations—Scruff peeing on the tree that holds his “Wanted” sign is bound to be a...

Scruff, dog extraordinaire, leads a diverse group of dog friends on an investigation to determine who stole the sausages from the butcher’s shop.

Scruff’s favorite thing in the world is sausages (author/illustrator Zommer treats readers to a visual variety of sausages—100 of them—right off the bat in the endpapers), and he likes to stop outside the butcher’s shop daily to ogle the sausages hanging in its window. One fateful day the sausages are missing—stolen. Scruff, suspected by the mayor, the police chief, and the butcher of stealing them (with the “Wanted” signs to show it), is determined to prove his innocence by finding the thief. The simple plot shows how Scruff sniffs out the real thief, after which he and his friends our rewarded by his erstwhile accusers—with a meal of sausages, of course. The story’s real zing comes from its collagelike, digitally created illustrations. Lively and almost slapdash in their presentation, they amplify and complement the narrative urgency Scruff feels to catch the thief. Zommer omits or obscures the faces and heads of the humans in the story, but their hands are light-skinned. A cat that skulks in the illustrations throughout adds a weak ending twist.

A lighthearted frolic with lively illustrations—Scruff peeing on the tree that holds his “Wanted” sign is bound to be a reader favorite. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9297-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE SLEIGH!

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies.

Pigeon finds something better to drive than some old bus.

This time it’s Santa delivering the fateful titular words, and with a “Ho. Ho. Whoa!” the badgering begins: “C’mon! Where’s your holiday spirit? It would be a Christmas MIRACLE! Don’t you want to be part of a Christmas miracle…?” Pigeon is determined: “I can do Santa stuff!” Like wrapping gifts (though the accompanying illustration shows a rather untidy present), delivering them (the image of Pigeon attempting to get an oversize sack down a chimney will have little ones giggling), and eating plenty of cookies. Alas, as Willems’ legion of young fans will gleefully predict, not even Pigeon’s by-now well-honed persuasive powers (“I CAN BE JOLLY!”) will budge the sleigh’s large and stinky reindeer guardian. “BAH. Also humbug.” In the typically minimalist art, the frustrated feathered one sports a floppily expressive green and red elf hat for this seasonal addition to the series—but then discards it at the end for, uh oh, a pair of bunny ears. What could Pigeon have in mind now? “Egg delivery, anyone?”

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781454952770

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023

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THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

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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. 28, 2018

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