There’s not much to Papillon’s sophomore outing, but little feline fans will definitely want to float along.

PAPILLON GOES TO THE VET

From the Papillon series

Lighter-than-air Papillon has some tummy trouble.

Papillon is such a fluffy kitty he can float like a cloud. He and his little red bird friend like to play with balls of yarn, and they like to practice kung fu kicks in the air; but their favorite game is catch the (toy) mouse. One day, while playing, something goes horribly wrong: Papillon swallows the toy. It gives him the hiccups…and it also makes him sink to the ground. Miss Tilly rushes him in her bicycle basket to the vet, where an X-ray reveals the problem, and Papillon has to stay overnight. There are many pretty and talented pusses at the vet. Papillon feels that he is neither and starts crying…which makes his hiccups worse. Out pops the offending mouse, enabling Papillon to impress all the other cats with his talents, and he makes new friends. Best of all, he gets to go home—where he keeps his mouth shut while playing catch. Kang’s fantastically fluffy feline returns for another weightless tale. The watercolor, pen, and pencil illustrations float with Papillon across the pages. The pastel palette is perfect, and Papillon’s expressions are priceless.

There’s not much to Papillon’s sophomore outing, but little feline fans will definitely want to float along. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2881-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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