Even confirmed Peppa fans aren’t likely to love this one. Stick with Maisy’s Seasons (2011).

READ REVIEW

PEPPA PIG AND THE YEAR OF FAMILY FUN

From the Peppa Pig series

From seed planting in spring to a mud bath the following spring, Peppa and her rotund family roll through the four seasons.

The five double-page spreads in this TV-show spinoff depict standard-issue activities performed by stock characters. Daddy Pig helps little brother George build a sand castle in summer and fly a kite in autumn—and then, as typecast dads do, clumsily falls over the former and nearly falls out of a kite-eating tree in the latter scene. Meanwhile, Mummy Pig stands looking on (once in an unflattering, not to mention anatomically inappropriate, two-piece bathing suit). When she’s not just standing around watching the action too, Peppa dives into a pool with a pair of unidentified friends or confusingly appears twice in the same spread, riding a sled and posing next to a “snowman” (Mummy Pig gets to help with this). Sliders and flaps add movement and leading comments (“Don’t forget the carrot nose!”), but in the final muddy pop-up romp, the pink porkers are mounted on swivels that impart not leaps of joy but only distinctly anticlimactic twitches.

Even confirmed Peppa fans aren’t likely to love this one. Stick with Maisy’s Seasons (2011). (Pop-up picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8739-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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