SUNRISE, MOONRISE

From morning to night, various forest creatures cavort in idyllic scenes.

Each double-page spread includes full-bleed art and two lines of a rhyming quatrain that carries over to the page turn: “Sun rises. / Bird sings. // Squirrel wakes. / Branches swing.” Bees fly, fish swing, rabbits leap, and more, and in the end, Owl hoots and awakens as several diurnal critters curl up for the night. Thompson’s richly colored, stylized cartoons rendered with a thick, black line and layered with fabriclike accents are an uneven mix of styles. Some are reminiscent of folk art (a school of fish), others are quirky cartoons (a squirrel swings monkey-style from a tree), and still others are graphically simple (a rabbit bounds through the air). The book suffers from its relatively small (6 inches square) trim size. Some of the animals are too large for the scene or too many critters, as in the finale, are crammed on a spread, giving it all a claustrophobic feel. Despite these flaws, Thompson's talent manages to shine through, boding well for subsequent outings.

A handsome mixed bag. (Board-book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7142-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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LLAMA LLAMA TRICK OR TREAT

From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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