OHora has fused bright and engaging artwork highlighting the beauty and diversity of this community apartment building with...

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NIBLET & RALPH

Readers meet a duo of feline friends whose mix-up due to an uncanny resemblance leads to the meeting of two new potential human friends.

Niblet and Ralph look alike…a lot alike. But only the two friends realize that they live in the same building. When meowing on the phone loses its excitement, the two friends decide simultaneously and independently to visit each other, only to discover that the other isn’t there. When Ralph’s and Niblet’s adorable children, Gemma, a girl with straight black hair and light brown skin, and Dilla, a black boy, return to their respective homes, they notice immediately that something is awry. “Not Niblet” refuses his favorite cheesy chips, and “Fake Ralph” hates his usual hugs. At night Gemma and Dilla imagine all of the horrible fates that could have befallen their beloved pets: Have they been kidnapped by a robot? Have they been eaten by a dog, stolen, or carried off by birds? When Gemma and Dilla decide to scour the neighborhood and post fliers in search of their furry family members, they collide in an uproarious fashion. Using a palette of turquoise, orange, brown, and black and his trademark heavy black line, OHora invests all his characters with plenty of personality, even the two seemingly identical calico cats.

OHora has fused bright and engaging artwork highlighting the beauty and diversity of this community apartment building with a truly endearing story that is sure to amuse young readers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2791-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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