A whimsical quest, pure fun to read aloud, that may even remind kids to brush their teeth.

READ REVIEW

THE DRAGON'S TOOTHACHE

A resourceful narrator finds a way to alleviate a dragon’s pain.

A child with spiky pigtails, long bangs, and big eyes meets a red dragon crying for help. The child is carrying a bag with many objects that prove useful. The flashlight reveals “an old bone stuck in a broken tooth.” Bravely walking into the dragon’s maw, the child is swallowed and meets a rooster, a dentist, a puppy, a cat, a goat, and a monkey, all of whom have failed to cure the dragon’s toothache. Inventively, the narrator directs the monkey to stand on the goat, the rooster to go on top of the monkey, and so on. Balancing on the very top, the child uses some twine to lasso a tooth and climb out, then helps the others. She extracts the bone, and Dr. Dentist uses clay to cover the tooth. Everyone goes on their way, and after giving the dragon a toothbrush, the junior dental expert goes home to a dinner of well-deserved custard pies. The bright, highly saturated collaged illustrations picture the child in Indian clothing, albeit with a very hip look, but aside from this and the monkey, there is nothing particularly South Asian about this story.

A whimsical quest, pure fun to read aloud, that may even remind kids to brush their teeth. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-8-1819-0306-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Karadi Tales

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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