Go, Unlimited Squirrels! Go, readers!

I WANT TO SLEEP UNDER THE STARS!

From the Unlimited Squirrels series

A star-themed bedtime story—and so much more!

The Unlimited Squirrels’ third series entry offers a “BIG Story!” along with a smorgasbord of squirrelly miscellany (jokes, a quiz, and facts). In the “BIG Story,” Zoom Squirrel dreams of sleeping under the stars for the first time. So, Zip Squirrel summons five other pals to help make it happen. At first the squirrels are uncertain how to help, but one suggests they all offer encouragement since Zoom Squirrel is trying something new (“Being encouraged gives me courage!”). The friends form a squirrel pyramid and chant “GO, ZOOMY!” and “YOU CAN DO IT!” But their encouragement doesn’t quite land. Zoom Squirrel wants “PEACE and QUIET,” not encouragement. The friends assume they’re simply using the wrong cheer so they split up into teams to shout “PEACE!” and whisper “Quiet!” By the time Zoom Squirrel corrects them again, it’s morning and the stars are gone! Having established the series formula, Willems is now free to explore it, and the installments get better and better. The smart design and layout uses color-coding and “emote-acorns” to help emerging readers decipher not only words and textual features, but feelings. The fact-based sections playfully combine photographs with Willems’ cartoon illustrations. In lieu of a bibliography to support the informational content, Willems thanks experts—a nod at citation but one that, unfortunately, doesn’t help readers who want to investigate further. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-13-inch double-page spreads viewed at 76% of actual size.)

Go, Unlimited Squirrels! Go, readers! (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-05335-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 28

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?

more