Merry and bright.

READ REVIEW

A UNICORN NAMED SPARKLE'S FIRST CHRISTMAS

From the Unicorn Named Sparkle series

The joy of giving permeates Lucy’s first Christmas with her unicorn in this series third after A New Friend for Sparkle (2017).

Sparkle is back and is still more goatlike than equine, but little Lucy thinks he’s just perfect. She’s excited to teach him all about Christmas and explains that “best of all, it means Christmas PRESENTS! Lots and lots of PRESENTS!” Lucy gives Sparkle an allowance and her wish list so he can get gifts for her, and then she heads off to buy him presents. Readers are privy to the little unicorn’s failure to follow through on the task and then to how Lucy tirelessly gives him the benefit of the doubt. But when Sparkle knocks over the Christmas tree and eats the stockings, Lucy loses her temper. Her outburst makes Sparkle cry “big, magical rainbow unicorn tears.” Lucy feels terrible and apologizes, acknowledging that Sparkle “didn’t mean to hurt [her] feelings.” And then, lo and behold, there is a gift under the tree from Sparkle—a tiny golden box that on a wordless spread opens to release a rainbow and a flight of butterflies, birds, and (of course) sparkles and hearts. Readers will flip back to the vignettes that depict Sparkle failing to shop and reassess their lack of faith. Lucy is a little girl of color with light brown skin and springy black hair.

Merry and bright. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30813-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff.

THE LITTLEST EASTER BUNNY

From the Littlest series

The smallest bunny in Easter Town finds that she and her little chick friend are big enough to help the Easter Bunny prepare for the annual Easter egg hunt.

In the fifth entry in the Littlest series, Penny the bunny wants to help get ready for Easter. All the rabbits in her family are busy with their special jobs, getting eggs, candy, and baskets in order, but little Penny seems too small or clumsy to be of any help. Her parents and siblings try to let her assist them, but she falls into a vat of dye, spills marshmallow goo, gets tangled in the strands of a basket, and fails to fill even one Easter basket. Feeling dejected, Penny befriends a tiny chick named Peck. With the help of Penny’s family, Penny and Peck make miniature treats and petite baskets suitable to their own size. When the Easter Bunny’s main helpers fall ill, Penny and Peck convince the Easter Bunny that their small size will help them do the best job of finding spots to hide eggs as well as their own tiny basket creations. This too-pat conclusion doesn’t quite hold up to logical analysis, as the full-size eggs and baskets are still too large for Penny and Peck to handle. Bland cartoon illustrations are filled with bunnies in candy-bright pastels with a greeting-card cuteness quotient.

Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-32912-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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