Pair with a book that will teach children alternatives to unleashing their own inner Fluffys.


Unlike Molly Bang’s Sophie, when Claire gets angry, there are some significant consequences.

The day starts out like any other, with Claire and her stuffed white rabbit, Fluffy, looking forward to many things. But when a “tiny button” pops off Fluffy’s outfit (which matches Claire’s), then the box of Super Choco Puffs cereal is found to be empty, then all the neighborhood kids want to swing at the same time as Claire…readers can see Claire’s gaze turn a little more manic, her teeth and hands clench a little tighter with each new frustration. The last straw, though, is when it starts to pour just as it’s finally Claire and Fluffy’s turn on the swing. Her anger rages so wildly that Fluffy grows to be 50 feet tall and goes on a rampage against all that has frustrated Claire: the tiny-button factory, the cereal delivery trucks, the beloved park swingset. But just as soon as this last is smooshed to bits, Claire regains control and is remorseful. Her friends at the park are understanding and tell her “We’ve all been there before.” Claire, Fluffy in tow, puts all back to rights. Boldt’s digital illustrations keep the focus on Claire’s emotions, her expressiveness leaving no doubt in readers’ minds as to how she is feeling. The fact that Fluffy’s face never changes in the slightest adds welcome humor. Claire has straight, black hair, brown eyes, and pale skin; other kids at the park are diverse.

Pair with a book that will teach children alternatives to unleashing their own inner Fluffys. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4887-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.


All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Hee haw.

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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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