With only five double-page spreads, the book may feel on the pricey side, but little fingers will enjoy opening these...

READ REVIEW

BIG RED BARN

Matt the Cat searches for a little gray mouse in five locations on the farm in this lift-the-flap offering with an embedded sound chip.

Matt looks for breakfast in the stable, pigsty, duck pond, and cowshed with no success. In each of these encounters, Matt poses the query “Have you seen a little gray mouse?” via speech bubble. Readers can lift up the flap in each double-page scene to reveal a horse, piglets, a duck with four ducklings, and a cow with calf respectively. On the final two-page spread, Matt finds the mouse in the henhouse cooking his breakfast and not, to everyone’s relief, becoming breakfast. When each flap and the sliding panel on the cover are opened, light-activated sensors trigger the sound chip enclosed in the back cover, and each animal makes it signature sound. The back page, which includes a small compartment to replace the battery, encourages readers to use the book in good light or the sound chip won’t activate. In true DK fashion, clear photos of each featured animal encourage recognition. All the backgrounds, along with Matt, the mouse, and a few farm accessories, are drawn in simple and bright two-dimensional cartoons.

With only five double-page spreads, the book may feel on the pricey side, but little fingers will enjoy opening these playfully noisy flaps as long as the battery holds out—or as long as their caregivers can take it. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4654-6313-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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