The brilliant combination of art and text will capture the imaginations of both bibliophiles and less-than-enthusiastic...

WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?

When young Spencer’s beloved books begin to disappear, the boy devises a plan to catch the culprit (although not before suspecting his toddler sister).

Muted shades of purple, blue and pale green are the background colors for the appealing opening, in which Spencer—in narwhal-themed red pajamas—is cuddled up with his mother, stuffed narwhal toy tucked under his arm; his and his mother’s wide, comic-strip eyes focus on an open book. “Spencer loved books. His favorite bedtime book was Night-Night, Narwhal. Sometimes he read it aloud.” No doubt it’s the kind of read-aloud done by 4-year-olds who’ve heard their favorite story many times. When Night-Night Narwhal disappears, Spencer’s father reads him Tenacious Todd, but it doesn’t quite work for bedtime: “But Todd was a toad, and toads were amphibians, and amphibian books were supposed to be for right-after-lunch story time.” The humor and charm continue as more of Spencer’s books, which he keeps so carefully on his shelf, begin disappearing—even Send in the Clown Fish! Astute readers will notice tulip petals and screws replacing the confiscated codices. Although the thief’s identity may be suspected, no one will expect the funny, sweet and original ending. Fans of Mo Willems will especially appreciate the family dynamics and expressive artwork.

The brilliant combination of art and text will capture the imaginations of both bibliophiles and less-than-enthusiastic readers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6741-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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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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