MILO’S HAT TRICK

Agee displays his masterful drollery to particularly good effect in this tale of a semiskilled magician in need of a good trick. Milo is about to get heaved from the show, if he doesn’t stop botching the card tricks, and tangling the rope trick, and most of all if he doesn’t get a good hat trick going. He’s been using a mouse, which hasn’t impressed the crowds, so he retreats to the woods, where he tries to lure a rabbit into his hat. Instead, he attracts a bear. But the bear is a good soul and agrees to help Milo by hiding in the hat and popping out on command: “You just pretend your bones are made of rubber. It’s a secret I learned from a rabbit,” says the bear. Unfortunately, Milo grabs the wrong hat when he gets off the train back in the city, causing a major stir when the bear jumps out of the hat at the wrong place. The bear, though, is a crafty creature that ends up saving Milo’s bacon and even teaches him a trick or two, like jumping into a hat. “It’s a secret I learned from a bear,” Milo tells his admirers. A beautifully shaped story, symmetrical and decidedly odd and bright with laughter. The pacing and delivery are stage-worthy, as is Agee’s vastly expressive artwork, which is chockful of visual humor. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7868-0902-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TURKEY TROUBLE

From the Turkey Trouble series

Turkey’s in the “kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving...and you’re the main course.” Accordingly, Turkey tries on disguise after disguise, from horse to cow to pig to sheep, at each iteration being told that he looks nothing like the animal he’s trying to mimic (which is quite true, as Harper’s quirky watercolors make crystal clear). He desperately squeezes a red rubber glove onto his head to pass as a rooster, only to overhear the farmer suggest a poultry plan B when he’s unable to turn up the turkey. Turkey’s horrified expression as he stands among the peppers and tomatoes—in November? Chalk it up to artistic license—is priceless, but his surroundings give him an idea. Good fun, but it may lead to a vegetarian table or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5529-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 30

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?

more