Big on gimmick, slight on story. (Board book. 2-4)

READ REVIEW

WOLF CRUNCH!

Youngsters pull a tab to manipulate a wolf cub’s mandible.

Said tab is located on the top of each alternating page, and little fingers can easily use it to raise a sturdy panel with a jagged lower edge that resembles teeth. Wolf cub Harry, it turns out, has playful rather than carnivorous tendencies, and he wants only to scare and tease the sheep and bunnies he meets in the forest. The companion book, Crocodile Snap, uses the same interactive feature but features a croc named Brock. Brock doesn’t want to scare anyone and is a little frustrated that all his fellow water creatures run away when he flashes his teeth. In the end, a boatload of tourists finally appreciates and takes pictures of his smile. While little ones will have fun chomping and enjoy Costamagna’s friendly cartoons in flat, highly saturated colors, these titles are scant on story despite the dense-for-the-format text. Harry comes across as a bit of a bully, and Brock registers as clueless. Also, in a serious design flaw, critters on adjacent pages are often visible through Harry’s and Brock’s open mouths, which makes them look as though they’re being eaten.

Big on gimmick, slight on story. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0200-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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