Puffy Papillon’s the most charming puss to pop up in years! (Picture book. 3-8)

THE VERY FLUFFY KITTY, PAPILLON

From the Papillon series

Fluffy kitty Papillon is lighter than air!

Papillon may be big, but that really is just his fur. He literally floats around the house, causing Miss Tilly to worry that he’ll be blown away. She tries to weigh him down with his favorite treats (doughnuts, fish, pizza, spaghetti); it doesn’t work. Then she happens upon the idea of holding him down with clothes…and gets a bit overzealous with the costumes. One day, Papillon refuses even to wear an eye patch—and on seeing a bird through the open window, he floats after it and does indeed get lost. It turns out that no one in the wild is as nice as Miss Tilly. Papillon wants to go home, but he doesn’t know the way. Thankfully, his new bird friend does. Miss Tilly is overjoyed to see her wayward floating feline…and the tiny vermillion bird on Papillon’s head gives her the perfect idea for keeping him grounded. Kang’s debut is an irresistible tale of an independent kitty who discovers home is best (especially when shared with a friend). Expressive Papillon soars across the muted, often monochromatic illustrations with pluck and aplomb, soft-edged pencils evoking his fluff and bright spots of red making the bird easy to find. Youngsters will be carried away by his obvious personality and beg for more. The page that depicts disgruntled Papillon in his costumes is worth the price of admission alone.

Puffy Papillon’s the most charming puss to pop up in years! (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-1798-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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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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