OHora’s story soars, encouraging acceptance and being true to yourself.

MY COUSIN MOMO

Momo’s cousins are excited for his visit, but they have trouble figuring out how to play with him until they accept him on his own terms.

Momo arrives with his world-traveling suitcase and a friendly smile. He’s a flying squirrel, but he won’t show off his skills for his cousins’ forest friends. Mom and Dad are full of good advice: “Give him some time”; “Just make him feel welcome!” Momo tries to join in his cousins’ games, but nothing works out right. When they suggest playing superheroes, he dresses up as a giant pink Muffin Man. He even messes up hide-and-seek! When his cousins get angry, a tearful Momo packs his bags, leading his cousins to think “maybe we had gone too far.” Strong lines, bold, matte colors, and crisp white space focus the attention on the characters’ feelings. OHora uses spare language and expressive figures, giving young readers room to reflect on the squirrel cousins’ actions. The turning point, when the cousins realize how they have hurt Momo, takes place in a wonderful wordless spread. Soon the cousins realize that trying out new things can actually be a lot of fun.

OHora’s story soars, encouraging acceptance and being true to yourself. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4011-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Hee haw.

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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

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