ONE SMART GOOSE

Despite low marks for internal logic, this brief tale of a clever goose and a fox on the prowl will draw honks of glee from fans of such similar encounters as Pat Hutchins’s classic Rosie’s Walk or Mem Fox’s Hattie and the Fox (1986). Beneath each full moon, a fox chases (though never seems to catch) all the shiny white geese, but leaves a muddy loner be. Why? Because the mud on his feathers makes him less visible, the loner explains. All of the other geese thereupon hurry over to the muddy pond; but when the weather changes and snow starts to fall, they ignore his advice to wash off the grime, with predictable results. So the brainy bird kicks the fox down the hill, blithely declares that the pest won’t be back, earns the adulation of his gagglemates, “and was never lonely again.” Even younger audiences are likely to find all of this too easy, but they’ll enjoy the tale’s brisk action and simply drawn cartoon illustrations. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-439-68765-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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?

NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more