Perfect for any kid worried about a trip to the doctor—or the vet. (Picture book. 4-8)

YOU'RE IN GOOD PAWS

As one might expect, Leo is more than a little nervous about getting his tonsils removed—especially when his parents walk him past the children’s hospital and into the animal hospital!

“Are you sure we went in the right door?” Leo wonders nervously. But Dr. Stan the mouse is ready and waiting for him. Looking around the familiar hospital scene, Leo is not quite sure what to think. He’s joined in the waiting room by all kinds of critters, including a cat with a fishbowl stuck on its head, a blind bat, and even a boa who appears to have eaten several toys. From the waiting room Leo moves on to the exam room, where Leo is so cooperative that Nurse Lorraine, a cow, “call[s] him a good boy and [gives] him a vigorous ear skritch.” Leo proceeds safely through surgery and recovery in the animal hospital, even if he does wake up with a cone around his neck! Kids will feel comfort in knowing Leo’s journey is not much different than their own would be if they were getting their tonsils out too, and they will delight in poring over the detailed illustrations. With each read there is something new to find in the pictures, and the wry text makes it just as much fun for adults to read as it is for kids.

Perfect for any kid worried about a trip to the doctor—or the vet. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-6466-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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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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Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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