Fulfills a need but without a solid story.

SNOW IS FUN

From the I Like To Read series

Some woodland friends explore and enjoy the snow.

This entry in the I Like To Read series uses short sentences, one per spread, with repetitive vocabulary and at most one stretch word. The setup uses cinematic strategies. “Snow falls” shows a tan rabbit near its hole in the base of a tree, two gray mice sharing a hole above it, as flakes fall all around. “Snow is white” pulls back the view to show a third hole, a squirrel just peeking out. “Snow is quiet” sees the rabbit and the mice taking a nap amid the falling snow. Gradually, an owl in a fourth hole and a small bird on a branch are introduced as the snow “blows,” “falls and falls,” and “is heavy.” Finally, on the seventh spread, a rather slim story begins as the weight of the snow breaks the bird’s branch and sends it plummeting. The concerned friends try to help, but the bird rescues itself by flying, and the animals play together: “Snow is fun with friends.” Henry’s illustrations are cartoon-cute, but the picture clues may not be enough for readers to guess unfamiliar words—the “quiet” and “heavy” pages may be especially opaque. Literacy practice wins out over entertainment value in this early reader; children aren’t likely to reach for it again.

Fulfills a need but without a solid story. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4600-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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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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