A novel hero and a novel way to introduce a new generation to an old saying.


Mr. Nogginbody learns that no matter how nail-shaped a problem may appear, a hammer isn’t always the solution.

Starring in this absurdist adaptation of the adage about hammer and nails is daft Mr. Nogginbody. Proud of his initial success hammering a nail into his floor, Mr. Nogginbody decides to similarly remedy more problems, comically whacking naillike objects—showerheads, flowers, and (thankfully speedy) prairie dogs. After taking careful aim at a fly but hitting his own hat, he is struck with the epiphany that “not everything is a nail” and sweetly begins making amends, beginning with a new tool—a watering can to tend the flowers he crushed. Both the eponymous star of Shannon’s earlier David books and Mr. Nogginbody are kindhearted despite their predilection for chaos, and they exude a certain manic energy through their eccentric looks. Mr. Nogginbody appears to be a giant, egg-shaped head but is proportioned as though he were typically human: A tie is his nose, his arms swing askew, and a hat sits jauntily, if jarringly, just where the lapels of his shirt meet. Shannon’s signature breezy lines, keen sense of when to zoom in on a face or emphasize a zany moment, swaths of bright color among mostly black-and-white sketches, and casually uneven, hand-lettering keep it looking and feeling bright.

A novel hero and a novel way to introduce a new generation to an old saying. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-324-00344-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Loewen’s story is a simple snapshot of kindergarten graduation day, and it stays true to form, with Yoshikawa’s artwork resembling photos that might be placed in an album—and the illustrations cheer, a mixed media of saturated color, remarkable depth and joyful expression. The author comfortably captures the hesitations of making the jump from kindergarten to first grade without making a fuss about it, and she makes the prospect something worth the effort. Trepidation aside, this is a reminder of how much fun kindergarten was: your own cubbyhole, the Halloween parade, losing a tooth, “the last time we’ll ever sit criss-cross applesauce together.” But there is also the fledgling’s pleasure at shucking off the past—swabbing the desks, tossing out the stubbiest crayons, taking the pictures off the wall—and surging into the future. Then there is graduation itself: donning the mortarboards, trooping into the auditorium—“Mr. Meyer starts playing a serious song on the piano. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to march”—which will likely have a few adult readers feeling the same. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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Fun, fun, fun all through the town!


This book’s gonna werk, werk, werk all through Pride Month and beyond.

Drag persona Lil Miss Hot Mess rewrites “The Wheels on the Bus” to create a fun, movement-filled, family-friendly celebration of drag. The text opens with the titular verse to establish the familiar song’s formulaic pattern: “The hips on the drag queen go SWISH, SWISH, SWISH… / ALL THROUGH THE TOWN!” Along the way, more and more drag queens join in the celebration. The unnamed queens proudly display a range of skin tones, sizes, and body modifications to create a diverse cast of realistic characters that could easily be spotted at a Pride event or on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The palette of both costumes and backgrounds is appropriately psychedelic, and there are plenty of jewels going “BLING, BLING, BLING.” Don’t tell the queens, but the flow is the book’s real star, because it encourages natural kinetic participation that will have groups of young readers giggling and miming along with the story. Libraries and bookshops hosting drag-queen storytimes will find this a popular choice, and those celebrating LGBTQ+ heritage will also find this a useful book for the pre-K crowd. Curious children unfamiliar with a drag queen may require a brief explanation, but the spectacle stands up just fine on its own platforms.

Fun, fun, fun all through the town! (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6765-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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