Goofy, readable chapter-book fun for our Chihuahua butler.


From the DJ Funkyfoot series , Vol. 2

DJ Funkyfoot puts his foot down.

DJ Funkyfoot is not a hip-hop star or a rapper; he is a Chihuahua butler. His parents gave him the first name DJ (in case he decided to spin funky beats) and middle name MC (in case he excelled at rapping cool rhymes), but all DJ Funkyfoot wants is a great butler job. It’s a fantastic and amazing day—worthy of shouting “WOW!”—when he gets a call from the White House butler. The president’s own butler, a mustachioed pig in a beret, is taking a vacation day to go play miniature golf. DJ Funkyfoot has a new job for the day! But President Horse G. Horse is quite a pawful. All that’s on the docket today is to sign the peace treaty with Wingland, but the president is too much of a selfish baby to cooperate. Funny dialogue and frequent cartoon illustrations keep the action lively as President Horse drags DJ Funkyfoot into all kinds of silly trouble at the Mini Golf and Fondue Fun Spot. DJ Funkyfoot knows how to be a good butler, but if a butler works for someone who lies and cheats and doesn’t care about war, he can’t always say “yes” to everything. Witty repetitive prose aids comprehension (and the recurrences of “hot cheese volcano” make mini golf sound extra delicious).

Goofy, readable chapter-book fun for our Chihuahua butler. (Humor. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4730-4

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...


A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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