SAY SOMETHING, PERICO

Bored with a parrot’s life in a pet store, Spanish-speaking Perico wants a permanent home.

The pet store man assures a female customer that Perico “can say some words.” After the birds’s unsuccessful attempt at “Polly wants a cracker,” though, the woman turns to leave in disgust. Perceptive readers may notice that Perico squawks “Agua!” to call attention to his empty water dish. The pet store man convinces the female customer that Perico is attempting to say the word “opera,” and she buys the bird. Things don’t go well when she takes Perico to the opera that evening, and she returns him. The pet store man tells Perico that he’ll have to learn some phrases if he wants a new home, giving him "I am fine today" as an example. The bird stays up that night practicing the phrase. After two other failed attempts, a little Latino boy and his mother visit the store, and Perico uses all of his new phrases to impress the boy. The boy ignores the bird completely until Perico starts squawking in fluent Spanish. The bilingual boy immediately wants the bird, who speaks Spanish and English just as he does. Rébora’s humorous illustrations and the happy ending help balance the mostly clueless, often rude adults in the book. A welcome, if a little long, tale of belonging and bilingualism. (Spanish glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

 

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5231-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 36

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

Charming characters, a clever plot and a quiet message tucked inside a humorous tale.

YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL

From the You Are (Not) Small series

Fuzzy, bearlike creatures of different sizes relate to one another in an amusing story that explores the relative nature of size.

A small purple creature meets a similarly shaped but much larger orange critter. The purple creature maintains that the orange creature is “big”; the orange one counters by calling the purple one “small.” This continues, devolving into a very funny shouting match, pages full of each type of creature hollering across the gutter. This is followed by a show-stopping double-page spread depicting two huge, blue legs and the single word “Boom!” in huge display type. Tiny, pink critters then float down by parachute, further complicating the size comparisons. Eventually, these brightly colored animals learn to see things in a different way. In the end, they decide they are all hungry and trudge off to eat together. The story is told effectively with just a few words per page, though younger readers might need help understanding the size and perspective concepts. Cartoon-style illustrations in ink and watercolor use simple shapes with heavy black outlines set off by lots of white space, with an oversized format and large typeface adding to the spare but polished design. While the story itself seems simple, the concepts are pertinent to several important social issues such as bullying and racism, as well as understanding point of view.

Charming characters, a clever plot and a quiet message tucked inside a humorous tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4772-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more