This humorous tale may become a dog lover’s favorite.

LET'S SWAP FOR A DAY

A child and pet enjoy trading lives for a day, until nature calls and accommodations are needed.

Alphie, a human child with pale skin and black hair, and Nini, a brown dog with pointed ears, are best friends. Sometimes, they “are jealous of each other’s life,” so one day they decide to swap. The morning goes well, with Alphie sleeping ’til noon in Nini’s dog bed and Nini attending school. The afternoon is fun; Alphie swims, plays Frisbee, and hides Daddy’s toupee while Nini listens to the teacher, makes art, and plays with (human) classmates. When it’s time to eat, though, the fun slows down; Alphie doesn’t like the taste of Nini’s bones, and Nini refuses Alphie’s vegetables. But they don’t give up until they really can’t go—the grass is no match for a bathroom, and vice versa. Liao’s brightly colored illustrations crackle with movement, child-friendly energy, and expression. The loose, casual application of paint matches the text’s breezy authority. The fact that the other characters aren’t fazed by a dog in school and at the table only adds to the hilarity of the swap. This perfectly paced, funny read uses only a touch of potty humor to cap off a sweet story of friendship, curiosity, and indulgence, ending with gratitude for something many of us take for granted. Caregivers won’t mind children rereading this silly book.

This humorous tale may become a dog lover’s favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4788-6819-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Reycraft Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more