A fascinating look at dads in the animal world who behave similarly to human dads.

WILD ABOUT DADS

Three human dads bookend this list of things animal dads do for their children, and readers will find them all to be very familiar.

“Dads can help you reach up high, // and help to keep you warm and dry.” These two double-page spreads show, first, a marmoset with a baby on his back reaching for some red berries and then penguin dads with their chicks on their feet. Some anthropomorphization creeps in with eagle dads, who “like fishing,” and prairie dog dads, who enjoy “playing games, like hide-and-seek.” Among the author’s unusual animal choices are pelicans, sandhill cranes, African wild dogs, poison dart frogs, and bearded emperor tamarins. A final spread in the backmatter shows a vignette illustration of each species and one to three sentences of further information about the animals and their dad duties: “Sun-grebe dads carry young hatchlings in a pocket under their wings to keep them safe” (disappointingly, this is inaccurately depicted like a kangaroo’s pouch); “Marmoset dads groom, feed, and carry their babies on their backs.” This info will fascinate those young children with the patience to sit still to listen to this text-dense spread after the terse couplets. Alvarez’s full-bleed illustrations lightly anthropomorphize her animal subjects with smiles and some postures. The bright colors will attract an audience.

A fascinating look at dads in the animal world who behave similarly to human dads. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-31574-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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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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