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

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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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