Replete with both peaceful charm and a sense of wonder, this is a selection children will embrace and come back to time and...

THE STORM WHALE

The story of a very unusual friendship.

Noi lives with his father and six cats in an isolated home by a shining sea. Bright, simple text that sparkles with clarity and quietly dazzling illustrations that have the feel of another time and place describe Noi at home with his feline compatriots as his father goes out to work on a fishing boat. While walking on the shore, Noi discovers a small beached whale and brings his curious new friend home to the family tub with the best possible results. His father isn’t angry at all but realizes that Noi has been lonely. As the whale needs to be in water, however, Noi’s father rows boy and whale through the stormy ocean until they reach a suitable depth. (Both humans are clad in yellow oilskins and sou’westers.) This imaginative, offbeat and original tale, lightly dusted with believable magic, perfectly captures a generous child’s loyalty and dedication and ends with comfort and subtlety. Noi gazes off to sea, an obvious pair of parent-child flukes in the distance, thinking of when he will see his friend again, while his beloved father watches him, clearly enjoying relaxing with his son. 

Replete with both peaceful charm and a sense of wonder, this is a selection children will embrace and come back to time and time again. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9967-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 30

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?

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more