DOOBY DOOBY MOO

Those self-actualized animals down at Farmer Brown’s return for a welcome new caper. Their leader, Duck—who reads the farmer’s newspaper daily—notes that the upcoming county fair will feature a talent show. Bent on first prize (a “slightly used” trampoline), he directs the cows’ rehearsals of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” the sheep on “Home on the Range” and the pigs’ slumber-inducing interpretive dance. Since Farmer Brown can’t trust this crafty herd, he loads them into the truck, parks and heads off for the fair’s free barbecue. The animals—naturally—enter the contest and perform, with decidedly mixed results, and it’s Duck who once more brings home the bacon. When Farmer Brown resumes snooping outside the barn that night, he hears “Dooby, dooby BOING! Fa la, la, la BOING! Whacka, whacka BOING.” Yet again, Lewin’s watercolors delightfully extend Cronin’s text. Her gestural black brushstrokes enliven everything from a bristly welcome mat to the animals’ clandestinely pleased expressions as their duped farmer crowds them into the fair-bound truck. (Duck, of course, rides shotgun.) Great fun. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2006

ISBN: 0-689-84507-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2006

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JAZZ BABY

A snappy rhyming text celebrates an extended family’s joyous gyrations to the jazz spinning on the turntable. From waking to sleep, Baby’s right in the thick of it, as siblings, grandparents and cousins move and groove: “So they BOOM-BOOM-BOOM / and they HIP-HIP-HOP / and the bouncin’ baby boogies with a BOP-BOP-BOP.” Wheeler’s verse scans beautifully and begs to be read aloud—danced to, even—making this a fine choice for preschool and kindergarten story times. Christie’s bold, double-paged gouache compositions locate this colorfully garbed, expressively hip family within an equally vibrant community. As Baby’s big dark eyes get glassy with fatigue, the party winds down. “Daddy sings blues. / Mama sings sweet. / While that snoozy-woozy baby . . . / . . . sleeps deep, deep, deep.” Exultant and infectious, from the red-and-yellow-striped endpapers to the final “OH YEAH!” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-202522-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2007

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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