Like a ball rolling downhill, the combined momentum of verse and page turn should impel pre-readers to leap and then...

LEAP!

Creatures great and small spring into action on a sunny day.

With a determined cadence and a graphic bang, Lawson and Bisaillon wed their talents in presenting a sumptuous snapshot of nature on the go. Lawson’s animated poem starts small with an irritated flea’s decision to “LEAP!” that then leads to other creatures making similar jumps in a great crescendo of movement that climaxes when a horse leaps a fence before things return full circle to the flea at rest. Motivated by the irresistible impulse to move, the flea hops “into the path / of a little grasshopper,” who then lands on a bunny, who “bounds out / as the clouds roll in,” inspiring a dog to jump into a lake and scare the fish “wide awake,” as they “break the surface with a / flip, flop, shake” and “knock off a bullfrog’s / lily-pad crown” as he springs and lands right “next to the nose / of a high-strung horse,” who rears back from taking a drink of lake water, and…one gets the idea. Bisaillon’s vibrant, watercolor-inspired mixed-media illustrations capture the fullness of the domino effect of Lawson’s action-packed lyric, vibrantly showcasing the interconnectedness of flora, fauna, sun, and sky.

Like a ball rolling downhill, the combined momentum of verse and page turn should impel pre-readers to leap and then sleep—but not before demanding that those reading to them repeat: not to be missed. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77138-678-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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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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