Serviceable content slightly marred by inconsistent illustrations.

DOG MEETS DOG

From the I Like To Read series

One dog shows another dog the ins and outs of friendship.

When Big Dog meets Little Dog, Big Dog says “Be my friend.” But “What is a friend?” Little Dog asks. Well, as Big Dog explains, friends “have fun!” They ride the train to the zoo. They board the bus to see boats. They even take a rocket to the moon. Illustrations depict the pair of canines engaging in each of the activities. When snow comes one day, Big Dog decides to take a bath. Little Dog gets his boots and goes out the door alone. The page turns, and—“Oh, no!”—Little Dog falls and gets buried in the snow. Big Dog hears Little Dog’s bark (“WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!”). But can he find and rescue his new friend? This endearing friendship story is Myers’ first new work in decades. The limited vocabulary of around 70 words and their variants and the circular plot make the text accessible to emerging readers. Though the loosely drawn cartoon illustrations are playful, some inconsistencies are distracting. Still, the ample white space and limited color palette add to the text’s accessibility. Most pages feature only animals, but those that depict children show a variety of skin tones. Even though both dogs are anthropomorphic, Big Dog wears only a sweater, and Little Dog wears no clothing.

Serviceable content slightly marred by inconsistent illustrations. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4451-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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