A tad gooey, but with enough googly to tame the treacle factor.

I LOVE YOU, ONE TO TEN

Inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a lullaby of love from the mother to the rumbustious child.

Adderson gets similarly emotional with her counting of the ways, from the moment she gathers steam—“Two, your eyes, / googly, bright”—to the rapture of “Seven has to be / your elbows and knees, / dimpled and scaly, / more places to kiss!” But there are clues that this is no gushfest. “Eight is your sturdy hump, / small now, but it will be big”; the green-pajama–clad is playing at being a dragon. The sudden shifts in tone—a swooning “so perfect!” to the ridiculous “your chins are Four. / Four chins!”—allow the mother’s unconditional love to range freely. Leist’s artwork has the clear lines of a hand drawing and the muted, pastel shimmer of a light silk screen. The colors often bleed beyond their borders, lending a dreamy quality to the proceedings, and a company of small details—a peekaboo cat that looks like an owl, a host of Band-Aids covering elbows and knees, and, count ’em, four chins indeed above a “drum-tum tummy”—slow the free-verse poem’s momentum and introduce the possible notion of day’s end.

A tad gooey, but with enough googly to tame the treacle factor. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-55498-708-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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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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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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