EDWARD AND THE EUREKA LUCKY WISH COMPANY

Edward has big plans—and a big imagination. When he takes his bicycle (a Sky-Hopper 2000) to the park and receives three wishes from the titular company (“Buy Two. Get One Free”), his life takes some unexpected turns. Like so many kids in stories involving wishes, he spends them carelessly and finds life complicated by their aftermath. He wants his Sky-Hopper to fly, but neglects to be seated on the bike when he makes his wish. It flies. He does not. Such self-consciously goofy words as splurcher, figgler and Bog Bubbler monster distract from this tale, which moves along breathlessly—even frantically. The amount of print on many pages will discourage many young readers who might be attracted to this tall tale of wishes wasted, worlds turned upside down and set right again. Kids who like Daniel Pinkwater’s early chapter books will enjoy the wordplay here, however, and young inventors with a short attention span might enjoy hearing this read aloud. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-55453-264-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

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 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

EVEN SUPERHEROES HAVE BAD DAYS

An action-packed romp.

Superheroes deal with their emotions.

What happens when the empowered have a terrible day? Becker posits that while they could go on destructive sprees and wreak havoc, the caped crusaders and men and women of steel harness their energies and direct it in constructive ways. Little readers filled with energy and emotion may learn to draw similar conclusions, but the author doesn’t hammer home the message. The author has much more fun staging scenes of chaos and action, and Kaban clearly has a ball illustrating them. Superheroes could use laser vision to burn down forests and weather powers to freeze beachgoers. They could ignore crime sprees and toss vehicles across state lines. These hypothetical violent spectacles are softened by the cartoonish stylizations and juxtaposed with pages filled with heroic, “true” efforts such as rounding up criminals and providing fun at an amusement park. The illustrations are energetic and feature multicultural heroes. The vigorous illustrations make this a read for older children, as the busyness could overwhelm very little ones. While the book’s formula recalls How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and its many sequels, the relative scarcity of superhero picture books means there’s a place on the shelf for it.

An action-packed romp. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1394-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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