Readers of Markle’s Snow School (2013) and Waiting for Ice (2012), both illustrated by Alan Marks, will welcome this...

THE LONG, LONG JOURNEY

THE GODWIT'S AMAZING MIGRATION

In four short months, a bar-tailed godwit chick becomes an adult that makes an incredible journey.

Migrating 7,000 miles south from their breeding grounds, bar-tailed godwits flee the Arctic winter for the Southern-Hemisphere summer, making the longest known nonstop flight of any bird. From fluffy hatchling on the Alaskan tundra to adulthood on the New Zealand mudflats, Markle describes one female chick’s experience for young readers and listeners. There is no anthropomorphization in this narrative, just gentle realism. The author introduces some predators: A fox sneaks up, but the adult birds shoo it away while the chick hides. Later, on the migration flight, the bird avoids a peregrine falcon. Though the text is simple, the author paints a clear picture. “The young female prances across the mud on her long legs.” Finally, “The young female swoops down with the flock to the New Zealand mudflats, where land mingles with the sea.” Posada uses painted papers and other fluffy materials for her collage illustrations, which fill the double-page spreads. The bird’s signature upturned beak and changing colors are clearly shown. Additional facts, resources for further exploration and an author’s note round out the package.

Readers of Markle’s Snow School (2013) and Waiting for Ice (2012), both illustrated by Alan Marks, will welcome this additional account of a baby animal’s growth to independence. (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5623-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 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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