Another appealing mouse hero likely to tickle toddlers embarking on their own adventures.

ITSY-BITSY BABY MOUSE

“Itsy bitsy baby mouse” gets very lost and must find his way in this home-away-home mouse adventure for the wee set.

“Itsy bitsy baby mouse” euphorically whirls and twirls around the house, chasing a fly up a table leg and sampling apple-pie crumbs until he suddenly realizes he’s lost. Panic grips baby mouse as he frantically darts about looking for his parents and weeping, “Mama, Papa!” When he spies “teensy-weensy ladybug,” he follows her up a “fuzzy mound” that’s “soft and round”—and turns out to be a sleeping cat. Beating a hasty retreat, baby mouse and ladybug bump into a friendly mouse, who directs them to baby mouse’s front door, but not before he imagines the cat’s got his tail. Simple, rhyming text relates baby mouse’s almost-tragic foray into the wide world inside the house, while charming pen, ink and watercolor illustrations track his frantic little journey across the pages, often marking his route with a dashed line. Comic close-ups expressively emphasize baby mouse’s changing moods, while distance shots highlight his diminutive stature in relation to furniture—and cats.  

Another appealing mouse hero likely to tickle toddlers embarking on their own adventures.   (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4169-3786-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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