Uplifting, encouraging, and quite lovely.

BORN TO SPARKLE

A STORY ABOUT ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS

Everyone has the capacity to sparkle.

Young readers are encouraged to live their dreams. They can choose to follow any path, to be anything they want; they need not set limits. Perhaps their aim is to be a doctor, dancer, teacher, or chef, and no matter how big their dreams are they can make it happen. But the author reminds readers that there is a very important caveat to consider. They must understand the difference between a wish and a dream. When you make a wish, the tendency is to sit back and wait to see if it will come true. Dreamers must work hard, practice, learn, and be brave, for it might be a long and difficult road. But it is all achievable. Bomgaars is tender with readers, never condescending, speaking directly in simple statements and providing examples and directions, all the while reminding them that their sparkle lives within them. Olczyk depicts the narrator as a stuffed toy animal wearing a green, leafy headdress and a swirly, fluffy pink boa. The listeners are a menagerie of stuffed animals, big eyed and paying rapt attention, sometimes in costumes that represent the professions of which they dream. There are sparkly stars floating through every page and some real glitter safely adhering to the jacket cover, though not on the case cover. The author, who has Down syndrome, is an activist, TV personality, and entrepreneur who is certainly living and achieving her dream.

Uplifting, encouraging, and quite lovely. (afterword) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4867-2110-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more