Applause for this very silly and slightly spooky cool cat that follows his own beat! (Picture book. 4-6)

SKELETON CAT

Rhyming verse unfolds in hip-hop rhythm to describe the humorous antics of a most likable, bony feline in this tale of pursuing a dream no matter what.

A dramatic zap of lightning opens the story and magically awakens a cat from the grave. When the wind blows in a notice about a drumming audition, the cat rattles and rollicks out of the cemetery and through the city—alarming adults and impressing school kids along the way. When he arrives, the motley band is skeptical at first: “…they called him nuts. / ’Cause ‘You’re not gonna make it / if you ain’t got guts!’ ” Skeleton Cat responds with his refrain, “He went: / Rattle, rattle. Clink, clink. / Rattle, rattle, clink. / Tip tap. Clickety-clack. / Ka-plink, / ka-plink, / ka-plink.” Krall matches Crow’s energetic text with a palette of contrasting graveyard-emerald greens and bright, urban pinky reds set against jet black backgrounds. Just this side of garish, the vibrant palette perfectly focuses readers on the cool white skeleton of the aspiring drummer. The digitally rendered, cartoony art coupled with the “undercat” theme is sure to inspire an entertaining and highly interactive storytime. A warning for those reading this aloud: really practice that finale jam.

 Applause for this very silly and slightly spooky cool cat that follows his own beat! (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-15385-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age.

THE THANKFUL BOOK

Parr focuses his simplistic childlike art and declarative sentences on gratitude for the pleasures and wonders of a child’s everyday life.

Using images of both kids and animals, each colorful scene in bold primary colors declaims a reason to be thankful. “I am thankful for my hair because it makes me unique” shows a yellow-faced child with a wild purple coiffure, indicating self-esteem. An elephant with large pink ears happily exclaims, “I am thankful for my ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you.’ ” Humor is interjected with, “I am thankful for underwear because I like to wear it on my head.” (Parents will hope that it is clean, but potty-humor–loving children probably won’t care.) Children are encouraged to be thankful for feet, music, school, vacations and the library, “because it is filled with endless adventures,” among other things. The book’s cheery, upbeat message is clearly meant to inspire optimistic gratitude; Parr exhorts children to “remember some [things to be thankful for] every day.”

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18101-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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