This lesson in cooperation goes down easy.

THE GREAT PUMPKIN CONTEST

Will competition or cooperation win out at the Great Pumpkin Contest?

Two very different neighbor cats are each determined to win Cat County’s Great Pumpkin Contest. Orange cat Mimi prefers to be indoors and loves to read, although sometimes she wishes for a friend. Gray-and-white Clara prefers the outdoors and likes to garden and to take tea with her friends. The two have different approaches to growing their pumpkins, too. Mimi researches, her efforts leading to the picture-perfect garden, growing a gigantic pumpkin for the contest. Clara takes a looser approach. Her small, perfect pumpkins are scattered in her yard. A high, brick wall separates the two yards, and the two hardly ever interact. In the end, Mimi pays the price for going it alone: Her giant pumpkin falls out of the wheelbarrow and covers everyone in “pumpkin guts.” She runs home, mortified. Clara extends the hand of friendship (and one of her pumpkins), and the two make a plan to work together next year. And the contest? Both turn out to be winners. Rozelaar ends the tale with a page showing a simplified life cycle of a pumpkin. Her friendly illustrations are brightly colored and nicely textured, depicting sweater-clad cats with large, round heads and stubby limbs. The anthropomorphic cats’ expressive faces evince a wide range of emotions, including amazement, suspicion, and anger. Don’t miss the book titles in Mimi’s house or her clever fridge magnets.

This lesson in cooperation goes down easy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-274137-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more