A family romp that demonstrates what a positive attitude and a bit of resourcefulness can accomplish in less-than-ideal...

THE PICKWICKS' PICNIC

A COUNTING ADVENTURE

A family of dogs escapes the heat of the city for a picnic by the shore, if they can only get through the traffic.

The Pickwicks and their charming puppies, Pip and Peach, hit the road in the family pickup truck only to discover that many of their neighbors have had the same idea. They are quickly passed on the road out of town by “3 squeaky jeeps,” “8 hasty hatchbacks,” and numerous other vehicles. Just as they arrive at the box-girder bridge (a detail repeated several times), they and their traveling companions discover that their means of urban egress has been closed for construction. It is a massive traffic jam! Not to worry: Pip and Peach have just the right attitude for being stuck in a jam, and soon there is a picnic party for all the waiting motorists. Though the family is of canines, as they are fairly anthropomorphic and the parents are belted in, it will likely give many readers pause that the children are riding unrestrained in the bed of the Pickwick pickup. Nevertheless, with darling cartoon illustrations, counting concepts, and all kinds of things that go, this book is sure to have broad appeal for read-alouds.

A family romp that demonstrates what a positive attitude and a bit of resourcefulness can accomplish in less-than-ideal circumstances . (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-83958-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Hee haw.

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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