These kitties will win hearts with a glossy-eyed glance.

EMERGENCY KITTENS!

The power of cute is the only superpower these kitties need.

Are you in trouble? Just having a tough day? “Maybe you need a superhero! Someone muscly and fierce, possibly wearing tights. Or maybe you need… / EMERGENCY KITTENS!” Mimi, Twee-Twee, and Adorbs are three giant-eyed kittens in capes ready to help humans in a bind. They can catch a falling scoop of ice cream, hide a bad haircut, or rescue little children from trees, but not everyone knows about their services. Young Sheldon is beset by bullies who take his ball. Several superheroes come to his aid; they lift bulldozers and leap over buildings, but none of that helps until the EMERGENCY KITTENS (always set in all-caps) arrive. They roll and knead and chase and pounce and finally purr—no one can resist that. With the bullies distracted by their sheer adorableness, Sheldon easily gets his ball back! Through text and speech bubbles (and with tongue firmly planted in cheek), Shaffer mashes up felines and superheroes to giggle-inducing effect. Mottram’s colorful cartoon illustrations feature humans of many skin tones—Sheldon presents black—and his three furry warriors pack action and endearing antics on every page.

These kitties will win hearts with a glossy-eyed glance. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-3008-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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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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