Duck On A Disco Ball (Jeff Mack)


Hello, friends! Our book today is Duck On A Disco Ball by Jeff Mack, a story that imagines just what it is that grown-ups are up to after their kids go to bed.

A little boy resists his bedtime, citing a number of serious (yet unlikely) events that he would miss if he were sleeping: what if a giant boulder smashes the house? Or a bunch of cows come for a party? His parents remind him that growing little boys need sleep, but he asks an all-too-familiar question: how come THEY get to stay up? After all, what is it that adults do after their children’s bedtimes? Finding his stuffed duck draped over a disco ball the next day, the boy decides to stay up to find out… but is he ready for the wild surprises in store?

I feel like this is a pretty common question that kids have for their parents, and the book proposes some amusingly ludicrous scenarios: the boy’s toy duck comes to life and, with the parents, hosts a rollicking party filled with talking farm animals, jumping on the couch, delicious snacks, and even a quite literal “rock” concert. The illustrations capture a sense of frenzied, disorganized fun, perfect for a party. And the reader is left with a question as to whether the events were real or only a dream in a way that extends the joke without being frustrating. But be aware: this book is PUNNY. SO many puns. Kids love them, so it works well in context, but oh man. I definitely groaned internally at a few. However, if puns are your thing, this is a fantastic romp that will delight little readers – even if it may make them want to stay up a little later. The length was good, JJ enjoyed it, and this one is Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this books was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Xander’s Panda Party (Linda Sue Park)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Xander’s Panda Party, written by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Matt Phelan, a positively delightful story of a friendly panda’s party-planning woes.

Xander the panda has come up with a fantastic idea: a panda party! Only one problem, of course: Xander is the only panda at the zoo. So Xander decides to open up the party to all the bears, and sends invitations to his fellow ursines, but is surprised to find out from Koala that he is not a real bear but a marsupial. Not wanting Koala to be left out, Xander opts to invite all the mammals – but Rhino doesn’t want to go without his BFF bird. So a furred-and-feathered party it will be! Well, until Crocodile points out that reptiles and birds are distant relatives, so could the scaly zoo denizens come as well? With a little help from a salamander named Amanda and a new surprise friend, Xander finds out that the best parties are the ones where no one is excluded based on who or what they are.

Fantastic! This was such a treat. From the phenomenal, jaunty rhyming text to the adorable illustrations of zoo creatures big and small, this was a blast for us. The added bonus is the subtle lesson about inclusiveness, showing that categorizing people can often narrow our experiences and possibilities for friends and fun. The length was great, JJ went wild for the animals, and it was just wonderfully fresh and different story that was a joy to read aloud. A lovely story for party animals of any age, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!