Pig probably doesn’t have any fans per se (who’d like the nasty little booger?), but his antics make learning good...

PIG THE WINNER

From the Pig the Pug series

Sore loser and sore winner is always a losing combination.

“Pig was a pug / and I’m sorry to say, / if he didn’t come first, / it would ruin his day.” And chubby Pig is hard to beat…because if he’s behind, his response is to cheat. And if by some chance he does lose to, say, his long-suffering friend Trevor, he throws a fit until his opponent relents and declares Pig the actual winner. Even if Trevor just wants to play for fun, Pig’s response is “It ain’t fun till I’ve WON!” One night at supper, Pig challenges Trevor to a speed-eating contest and doesn’t bother waiting for the reluctant Trevor to agree. Pig eats so fast that he swallows his food dish. Trevor saves the day with the Heimlich, sending the dish shooting into the air. After it falls and bonks him on the head, Pig learns his lesson…sort of. Australian author/illustrator Blabey brings back his greedy pug Pig for a second American release (there will be four shortly in his native land). It seems Pig has more problems than just greed. The goggle-eyed cartoon illustrations are fun, funny, and appealingly grotesque in their exaggerated goofiness, and they are a good match for the rhyming text.

Pig probably doesn’t have any fans per se (who’d like the nasty little booger?), but his antics make learning good sportsdogship fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-13638-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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