The positive-affirmation message is muddled, but it still makes the cut.

MR. LION'S NEW HAIR!

From the Mr. Lion series

In this French import, Monkey steps in as hairstylist, with some very silly results.

Even the king of the beasts can have bad hair days! When Mr. Lion shows up, leaves and twigs tangled in his mane, Monkey insists it’s time for a wash, a blow-dry—and a new look. Designed with a die cut in the shape of Mr. Lion’s face beginning on the cover and running through to all but the last page, the book allows each page turn to show Mr. Lion modeling a different ’do. Among the creative collection of styles are perky pigtails, flowing tresses, a bold blond dye job and then an even bolder red, a crown and tiara on a towering beehive, and an “elegant,” severe gray number, each style more unexpected than the last. Lean art on roomy white backgrounds keeps the focus on the silly locks and Monkey’s antics, whose face is as expressive as Lion’s is frozen and skeptical. Deeply mottled and layered illustrations show Lion striking a series of colorful if often chagrined poses, and some readers might be relieved when Monkey finally proclaims that the bells and whistles aren’t needed; Mr. Lion’s hair is “best just the way it is!” While the message of accepting one’s own beauty is refreshing, that Mr. Lion’s face still seems uncertain somewhat undermines that theme.

The positive-affirmation message is muddled, but it still makes the cut. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 979-1-0363-2861-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more