Prather’s Pick: Silly little books
Recently I ordered two little Scholastic Inc. books for my great-grandchildren. These silly, few-paged books are bound to be a hit with all young children because of the rhythm of the words and the wonderful, comical (and even lovable) illustrations.
“The Wonky Donkey” and “The Dinky Donkey” are written by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley. Smith also wrote an award-winning song that can be downloaded to accompany the books.
As readers open the first pages of “The Wonky Donkey,” they find an illustration of a road with a “donkey-crossing” sign nailed to a tree. A funny-looking yellow bird looks on and is present for the duration of the story.
The reader follows the road and finds the donkey, a cute animal with three legs, an artificial leg, and one eye. He has a patch over the other eye.
The story begins: “I was walking down the road and I saw a donkey. Hee Haw! He only had three legs. He was a wonky donkey.”
And then: “I was walking down the road and I saw a donkey. Hee Haw! He had only three legs and one eye. He was a winky wonky donkey.”
The story continues in this manner as the reader finds out more about the donkey. Each time another word or two is added to the donkey’s description, and all of the words are repeated. For example, the donkey likes country music so he’s a honky-tonky donkey. He’s tall and slim so he’s a lanky donkey, and he smells bad (so bad that the yellow bird falls down) so is known as stinky.
In the end, he’s a “honky-panky cranky stinky dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.”
I think children will love the rhyming words and the repetition of words even more.
“The Dinky Donkey” is all about Wonky Donkey’s little girl.
“Wonky Donkey had a child; it was a little girl. Hee Haw! She was so cute and small. She was a dinky donkey.”
The little girl donkey had beautiful eyelashes, liked to listen to rowdy music, and she painted her hooves bright pink so she was an “inky-pinky punky binky dinky donkey.” But there’s a lot more!
I must admit that, after typing this column, my head is swimming, and my computer has overworked itself in letting me know that I’m using lots of words that don’t exist. However, children will love these two silly books.
“The Wonky Donkey” (2009) and “The Dinky Donkey” (2019) are published by Scholastic, Inc. They cost about $5.00 each.
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