SLEEPY, THE GOODNIGHT BUDDY

Will a goodnight buddy help restless Roderick fall asleep?

The opening text cuts to the chase and declares, “Roderick hated going to bed.” Campbell’s accompanying watercolor illustration shows a pajama-clad boy with his back to readers (and parents). He looks away from his toys and casts a defiant look over his shoulder at his parents, whose bodies are only partially visible on the page as they loom over him. Humorous text and art proceed to share his various stalling techniques, including his intentional provocation of a litany of “reasons why he couldn’t have a pony.” Roderick is resistant when his parents introduce him to Sleepy, “a goodnight buddy to help him sleep.” The stuffed animal looks like a cross between a bear and a moose with enormous eyes that stare at Roderick until he finally tosses him in his closet. He’s shocked and exclaims, “You’re alive!” when Sleepy protests. Sleepy then turns the tables on Roderick and wears him out with a series of demands and protestations against going to sleep. Lo and behold, an exhausted Roderick finally collapses in his bed, but not before Sleepy’s antics and Roderick’s responses to them can delight readers—though some may object to a cheap attempt for laughs when Roderick reads aloud a book entitled The Witch’s Booty, about “a witch with a very big butt,” and a rapid-fire barrage of variants on “freak” in the dialogue. Roderick is a pink-skinned, big-eyed boy with a mop of dark curls.

Bedtime-bookshelf fodder. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4847-8969-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A mostly one-sided how-to guide on friendship.

HOW TO HAVE FRIENDS

Advice for making, keeping, and being a good friend.

In this picture book, children are shown in different friendship situations, some fun and playful, others involving struggles or complicated feelings. For each scenario, Macdonald gives some good advice: “If you want someone to be your friend, listen to them,” she writes, and “pay attention. Feelings are important.” However, aside from the reminder that “friends stand by you too” (the accompanying illustration shows one boy helping another search for his lost backpack), almost all of the lessons in the book revolve around putting yourself second. There are no examples of going to a friend with your emotional needs, for instance. The give-and-take nature of friendships is underrepresented. While, overall, the book might explain ways to be a supportive friend, it doesn’t present the complete picture of how to have friends. Wojciechowski’s full-color digital illustrations feature children with expressive faces and different skin tones, hair types, and eye colors and include a child using a wheelchair. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A mostly one-sided how-to guide on friendship. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3361-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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Will doubtless leave young readers and viewers flushed with excitement.

THE DINOSAUR THAT POOPED THE PAST!

From the Dinosaur That… series

Fresh (if that’s the word) from excretory adventures in outer space (see The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet, 2017), Danny and his craptastic dino companion undertake further effluvial exploits in the Jurassic.

Having discovered that the swing in Granny’s yard is a time machine, the white boy and the dino find themselves in deep soup when it breaks—stranding them in the distant past right next to an erupting volcano. With help from a trio of mischievous tykes dubbed “Dino Dudes A, B, and C,” the very images of pop-eyed, primary-colored cuteness in the cartoon illustrations, repairs are made…but how to get the required push? Having previously chowed down on Granny’s broccoli eggs and Brussels sprouts, it’s time for Dinosaur to do his thing: “The poop came out fast; it had broccoli power, / And launched them to eighty-eight miles per hour.” Back through the eras they fly (“The Romans and Trojans were covered in poop; / They all got a taste of Gran’s broccoli soup”), with the Dudes tagging along, to arrive back at Gran’s just in time for slices of, yes, broccoli cake. Parsons renders the prehistoric lava with an evocatively red and glutinous look, and if the gusher that flows out of Dinosaur’s butt is counterintuitively orange, it’s still a revolting sight. That the rhyme seems often to be in thrall to tortured scansion is probably a minor consideration.

Will doubtless leave young readers and viewers flushed with excitement. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9868-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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