Adorable but not exactly substantial.

POLLY AND HER DUCK COSTUME

THE TRUE STORY OF A LITTLE BLIND RESCUE GOAT

From the GOA Kids - Goats of Anarchy series

A small goat with a disability stars in this animal-rescue success story.

Already the subject of several online videos, Polly is introduced here with cozy painted illustrations centering on a floppy-eared kid and featuring only partial views of her white human “mom.” Virtually blind and taken in by Lauricella, the proprietor of a New Jersey rescue facility called “Goats of Anarchy,” Polly finds comfort swaddled in a soothing blanket at first. But that slips off when she wanders around the house, so she is dressed in a toddler-sized Halloween duckling costume—a solution that not only keeps her content but cranks the cuteness factor up about a thousandfold as she draws a diverse audience of fascinated children at the grocery store and later gambols in a grassy field with Pippa, another rescued kid who becomes a constant companion. The author adds anthropomorphic language to this simple profile (“ ‘Where’s my mom?’ wondered Polly”) but closes with notes on Polly’s “true story,” illustrated, rather counterintuitively, with photos of the caprine fashion plate modeling several outfits.

Adorable but not exactly substantial. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63322-418-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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