The happy and positive message that not all new beginnings are to be feared is a welcome one.

COQUÍ IN THE CITY

When Miguel leaves the island of Puerto Rico for the mainland U.S., he worries about all the things he’ll miss—most of all, his pet frog, Coquí.

In San Juan, Miguel takes Coquí everywhere: to play baseball with his friends, to visit the pond in the park, to buy his favorite snack at the bakery, or to visit his abuelos. But when his parents tell him they are moving to the mainland, he worries. Won’t he miss Coquí, flying kites, his grandparents, and taking part in Christmas festivities? In New York, Miguel and his mother explore a neighborhood “full of interesting sights, sounds, and people.” And though Spanish words are around them, so too are other unfamiliar languages. Soon they discover a pond with frogs, a food cart selling empanadillas, a baseball field, and a bakery that sells his favorite snack. As Miguel drifts off to sleep he realizes Puerto Rico will always be with him, in his heart—and though some things in New York are different, some are the same. Perez’s illustrations depict a multiethnic, multicultural New York that is just as colorful, vibrant, and upbeat as the city back home. Miguel and his family have light brown skin and dark hair. A Spanish version, De aquí como el coquí, publishes simultaneously, ably translated by Farah Perez.

The happy and positive message that not all new beginnings are to be feared is a welcome one. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-10903-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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