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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Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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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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