A delightful picture-book introduction to poetic devices.

Moofy, the monster who lives under the unnamed protagonist’s bed, is a complex creature of many, many talents.

He has quick reflexes and is a master of disguise. Despite his fearsome, sword-sharp teeth, he can also be silly, resembling a rug more than a monster. Moofy also has a softer side. He loves to help make muffins, to read books, and to gaze at the moon. Moofy’s tendency to create chaos does not deter his adoring fans, who shower him with attention and high-fives. Moofy, it turns out, is not just any monster: He is the protagonist’s cat—and their best friend. The cleverly over-the-top text utilizes a variety of literary devices to describe Moofy’s colorful life and personality, organically and effectively introducing young children to concepts like metaphor, simile, alliteration, allusion, hyperbole, and rhyme. The protagonist is endearing, and their affectionate perspective renders Moofy’s antics delightful to behold. The watercolor illustrations, which utilize a gentle pastel palette, perfectly complement the text: Each picture shows a few more details about Moofy, helping readers realize that Moofy is actually a cat. The protagonist is depicted with beige skin and dark, straight hair. The examples of each device are clear, accurate, and child friendly, making this book an excellent resource for an elementary language-arts classroom or an ideal gift for a young, budding writer. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A delightful picture-book introduction to poetic devices. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-88448-801-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021


Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018


A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies.

Pigeon finds something better to drive than some old bus.

This time it’s Santa delivering the fateful titular words, and with a “Ho. Ho. Whoa!” the badgering begins: “C’mon! Where’s your holiday spirit? It would be a Christmas MIRACLE! Don’t you want to be part of a Christmas miracle…?” Pigeon is determined: “I can do Santa stuff!” Like wrapping gifts (though the accompanying illustration shows a rather untidy present), delivering them (the image of Pigeon attempting to get an oversize sack down a chimney will have little ones giggling), and eating plenty of cookies. Alas, as Willems’ legion of young fans will gleefully predict, not even Pigeon’s by-now well-honed persuasive powers (“I CAN BE JOLLY!”) will budge the sleigh’s large and stinky reindeer guardian. “BAH. Also humbug.” In the typically minimalist art, the frustrated feathered one sports a floppily expressive green and red elf hat for this seasonal addition to the series—but then discards it at the end for, uh oh, a pair of bunny ears. What could Pigeon have in mind now? “Egg delivery, anyone?”

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781454952770

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023

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