Board books with flaps and set on a farm have been done more successfully many times before.

READ REVIEW

WHERE IS OWL'S SCARF?

Owl searches this lift-the-flap farm for his missing scarf.

“Where can it be? Is it between the branches?” asks the Q-and-A text. Under a flap, readers see the answer, and the text reads: “No! This is Chipmunk, gathering some acorns. Chip! Chip!” The pattern continues on each double-page spread as Owl searches behind bales of hay, pumpkins, corn stalks, garbage cans, and cattails “by the stream” to discover a variety of critters who don’t have his scarf. The missing accessory is finally found around Turkey’s neck. Belloni employs realistic textures in the art to create veined leaves and fuzzy raccoons. However, her cartoons are too stiff at times, and the glitter on Turkey’s feathers and Owl’s scarf in the final image seems an out-of-place gimmick. Some of the flaps offer clues as to which animal is underneath, while others do not, and this lack of consistency is a real liability in a book for this audience.

Board books with flaps and set on a farm have been done more successfully many times before. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0176-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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