BLOOP

An extraterrestrial who looks like a dog tries to prove his mettle by conquering Earth.

Bloop, a green ET that resembles a pug with antennae, is next in line to rule Planet XYZ. He tries but fails to follow the emperor’s “rules, regulations, and robots,” but the illustrations show the chaos that follows in Bloop’s chaotic, albeit joyful, wake. “Bloop! Too many bloopers” the emperor proclaims and banishes Bloop to the “crazy planet” Earth. Readers can assume the emperor is Bloop’s father, given the resemblance. If Bloop can conquer Earth, the emperor reasons, his worthiness to rule XYZ will be proved. Bright colors and characterizations in a cartoon-esque style take center stage. On Earth, Bloop has trouble reigning supreme. Bloop interprets the way humans care for dogs as an indicator that dogs rule the planet, so he focuses on learning their secrets. Sadly, the dogs pay no attention to him, and Bloop is still making “too many bloopers” according to the emperor. He commands Bloop to pretend he’s an Earth dog. In the end, Bloop must choose between his cushy new home where he rules the roost—and receives plenty of love and affection—and his old world. It’s no contest. Bloop’s human family appears to be interracial, with a Black father, White mother, and mixed-race child.

Easy laughs. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-287160-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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