THE TWO SILLIES

Hoberman’s rhymes are ever a pleasure and so they are here in this staccato bit of folderol verse about taking the longest distance between two points. Silly Lilly wants a cat, but does she go scare one up at the local shelter? No. She takes the advice of her friend Sammy. First she cuts down a stand of trees, then builds a log cabin shed, then buys a cow, and when she milks the cow in her shed a cat wanders in to sample the goods. “Look! A cat has come! What fun! / You don’t have to get me one. / See, I didn’t have to do / All the work you told me to.” She isn’t called Silly for nothing. Then a mouse in the cabin frightens Sammy, who proceeds to follow Silly Lilly’s suggestion to go cut hay, gather catnip, build a bed for the cat, move the cow out of the shed, and lock the cat inside—all to be rid of the mouse. Sammy doesn’t make the connection when they return later—“Look how happy she does seem. / I bet she found a bowl of cream. / And look, the mice have gone away! / I guess they didn’t want to stay”—but then he isn’t the best friend of someone named Silly for nothing. Hoberman cares as much about the story, which is droll and warm, as she does the pleasing rhyme scheme. The well-paced repetitions in particular have the fine thrumming quality of a spoken charm. Cravath’s brightly colored illustrations fill most pages with homespun humor: Lilly all scrawny legs and bony elbows, Sammy a plump country fellow, suspenders barely holding up his trousers, and Lilly’s cat showing the evidence of its feast with one tiny tail hanging from its contented smile. A crowd-pleaser. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-202221-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2000

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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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