A raucous rumpus of royal persuasion.

NEVER TRUMPET WITH A CRUMPET

A queen invites a host of animals to tea. Will they mind their manners?

In lively rhyme, Gibson follows a smattering of guests to the royal palace. An elephant, a giraffe, a moose, and more tromp inside, ready for tea. But they aren’t sure how to behave. Gibson cautions readers to not follow the animals’ instincts. “Sip your tea. Don’t lap it up. / No blowing bubbles in your cup. / Show courtesy. Don’t take too much, / but always take the one you touch.” The queen becomes increasingly appalled by the spills, sprays, and mayhem, but the young prince is delighted in watching others break the rules (ones that have surely been told to him many times). A few messages get muddled with the animal references: “Sit up straight. Don’t slump. Don’t slouch. / Lay your napkin on your pouch.” (A small opossum does have a napkin across her lap in the illustration but is also hanging upside down above the table with her head turned a full and alarming 180 degrees; this may leave readers wondering more than just exactly where their pouches are). Harney dresses the queen in furs and frills, with a high, white bouffant wig and pointed features. Her son is more cherubic, with a twinkle in his eye to show his penchant for mischief. They (the only two humans in evidence) both present white.

A raucous rumpus of royal persuasion. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62979-304-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more