Far too busy but will likely entertain most toddlers anyway.

READ REVIEW

TOUGH CHICKS TO THE RESCUE!

From the Tabbed Touch-and-Feel series

This tabbed, touch-and-feel board book is loaded with features.

There is plenty for tots to touch, from the titular tough chicks’ “feathers,” which resemble shag carpeting more than avian plumage, to sheep’s wool, cowhide, and a mire of sticky mud. Each sturdy page is tabbed, with a picture on each tab of a character who appears in the indexed scene. Every scene is a two-page spread; the final tableau also has a third, fold-out panel. As the illustrations occupy two pages, it is often difficult to know if the book’s text is meant to be read across both pages or down one page, then the other. A little mouse in each scene challenges children to act out deeds of the tough chicks, disrupting the narrative flow. Unfortunately, the challenges don’t involve anything like derring-do, nor are they ironically sedate; instead, they seem unrelated to toughness altogether, missing the mark. “Are you tough enough to flap your wings like Polly?” “Are you tough enough to Cockadoodledooooo like the rooster?” The illustrations do convey action; pictures of one chick breaking out wildly oversized binoculars or another using a tractor to yank a comically large cow from a mud puddle are dynamic, funny, and best suggest toughness in the pint-sized protagonists.

Far too busy but will likely entertain most toddlers anyway. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-45057-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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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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