Children aren’t likely to need the instruction, but the validation may be helpful to counter imagination-repressing parents...

I'M A FROG

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie teaches her pachyderm pal to pretend. Considering that this is their 20th outing, Elephant seems a little slow on the uptake, but he sees the light eventually.

Hopping around her bewildered buddy with many a “Ribbet!” Piggie explains, “I was a pig. Now I am a frog.” Gerald the elephant panics, thinking that he too might be transformed at any moment; there’s all that hopping, and as for eating flies—! Piggie goes on to explain just what “pretending” is all about. Stunned—“And you can just do that?!” —and assured that even grown-ups pretend, Elephant resists Piggie’s invitation to join her in the game. A characteristically hilarious spread depicts the two in heated debate, Piggie’s seven pink speech balloons (“Yes you can!”) tangling with Elephant’s eight gray ones (“No, I can’t!”). But he’s got the last laugh, going on to let out a mighty “MOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Cue the animal concert. As ever, Willems gives figures drawn with elemental simplicity and broadly expressed reactions just a few, but often very large, dialogue words to tell the tale.

Children aren’t likely to need the instruction, but the validation may be helpful to counter imagination-repressing parents or older sibs . (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8305-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

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