Here’s hoping for more transportation-themed adventures from this daring (and endearing) duo.

ONE-DOG SLEIGH

Children intrigued by the idea of a ride in a “one-horse open sleigh” will enjoy this humorous story of a girl and her dog experiencing an old-fashioned mode of winter transportation.

Casanova and Hoyt team up again for this sequel to their One-Dog Canoe (2003), with the same little girl narrator and her perky dog again trying to enjoy an outdoor adventure together. Following the same cumulative structure as the first story, a cast of animal characters appears sequentially in the snowy forest, and one by one they crowd into the overloaded sleigh. They encounter a blizzard, the crowded sleigh hits a bump, and “SWOOSH-A-BANG THUMP!”: All the critters fly through the air into a snow bank, but they recover and play under the twinkling stars before waving “goodbye / on a crisp winter night.” This one has it all: rhyme, rhythm, repetition, humor and a satisfying ending, as girl and dog head back to the warm, brightly lit barn. Charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations provide a variety of perspectives and captivating personalities for the forest-animal friends.

Here’s hoping for more transportation-themed adventures from this daring (and endearing) duo. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-35639-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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?

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more