A riotous, rib-tickling comedy of errors.

THERE'S A DODO ON THE WEDDING CAKE

In this sequel to There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor (2018), Mr. Snore returns to the Sharemore Hotel for another memorable adventure.

Hired to play his violin at a hotel wedding, Mr. Snore arrives early. When the wedding planner offers him cocoa, Mr. Snore requests no marshmallows because they make him sneeze. Spying a dodo bird gobbling a frosting rose on the wedding cake, Mr. Snore chases it away. While the wedding planner looks for someone to repair the cake, Mr. Snore stands guard, wielding his instrument’s bow like a sword to fend off two beavers and a boa constrictor. Out of an abundance of caution, Mr. Snore moves the cake trolley into a dark closet, but it’s filled with bats. Pushing the trolley away from a pelican and an ostrich, Mr. Snore evades a dinosaur in a tuxedo, locking him in a freezer. Finally, the wedding planner intervenes, and Mr. Snore realizes he’s overreacted and badly misjudged everyone except the offending dodo. Just as all seems sorted out, Mr. Snore sniffs the marshmallow frosting on the wedding cake—with explosive results. Comic, dramatic, fast-paced illustrations reveal well-intentioned Mr. Snore’s cascading mistakes as he heroically thrusts and parries his bow and frantically steers the cake trolley across the pages. Diverse animals dressed in wedding finery border on the absurd, but none match proper Mr. Snore and his hilariously monumental proboscis. Mr. Snore presents White, and the wedding planner has brown skin.

A riotous, rib-tickling comedy of errors. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0884-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted.

GOING PLACES

Imagination soars—quite literally—when a little girl follows her own set of rules.

Every year Oak Hill School has a go-kart race called the Going Places contest. Students are given identical go-kart kits with a precise set of instructions. And of course, every single kart ends up exactly the same. Every one, that is, except Maya’s. Maya is a dreamy artist, and she would rather sketch birds in her backyard than get caught up in the competition. When she finally does start working, she uses the parts in the go-kart box but creates something completely different. No one ever said it had to be a go-kart. Maya’s creative thinking inspires Rafael, her neighbor (and the most enthusiastic Going Places contestant), to ask to team up. The instructions never say they couldn’t work together, either! An ode to creativity and individuality to be sure, but the Reynolds brothers are also taking a swipe at modern education: Endless repetition and following instructions without question create a culture of conformity. Hopefully now, readers will see infinite possibility every time the system hands them an identical go-kart box.

Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6608-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents.

NAUGHTY NINJA TAKES A BATH

After swinging out from the jungle after a long day of ninja-ing, Will makes his way home just in time for a bath. But as all ninjas know, danger lurks around every corner.

Even naughty ninjas get hungry, but Dad says, “Pee-yew,” and insists his little ninja get clean before going near a morsel. Ever the Naughty Ninja, Will follows his dad into the bathroom and immediately spies danger: Poisonous flies that have followed him from the jungle! As any parent would, his dad begs him not to say, “Ninja to the rescue,” because we all know what comes after a catchphrase…chaos! Through each increasingly rough rescue, Dad finds himself more and more defeated in his quest to complete bathtime, but ultimately he starts to find the infectious joy that only the ridiculousness of children can bring out in an adult. The art is bright and finds some nifty ninja perspectives that use the space well. It also places an interracial family at its center: Dad has brown skin and dark, puffy hair, and Mom is a white redhead; when out of his ninja cowl, Will looks like a slightly lighter-skinned version of his father. Kids will laugh at everything the dad is put through, and parents will knowingly nod, because we have all had nights with little ninjas soaking the bathroom floor. The book starts out a little text heavy but finds its groove quickly, reading smoothly going forward. Lots of action means it’s best not to save this one for bedtime.

Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9433-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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