A suitable introduction for young children to the holiday.

Autumnal signs of leaves changing, squirrels foraging and hiding acorns, and cool breezes blowing announce another Jewish fall tradition: the harvest holiday of Sukkot.

Pleasant child-friendly paintings of autumn scenes in hues of orange, yellow, and brown illustrate the simple rhyming text with its repeated, anticipatory refrain “When leaves are all turning bright orange and red // and it’s time for the rakes to come out of our shed… / Sukkot is on its way.” As in the previous books in the series, Is It Passover Yet? and Is it Hanukkah Yet? (both 2015), Barash and Psacharopulo create the proper seasonal atmosphere to build enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming celebration, focusing on the annual construction of the customary hut, or sukkah. Key aspects of the sukkah’s decorations and its special components, such as the natural, green branches for the open roof, the lemony-smelling etrog fruit, and the lulav branch, are mentioned without much explanation. The custom of having meals in the hut is not fully portrayed, though readers see the children sleeping on pillows and blankets in the sukkah while parents look on from the house—an odd choice. The focal family is pale-skinned, and they are joined by dark-skinned friends or family.

A suitable introduction for young children to the holiday. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3388-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016


Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015


High-quality, inclusive illustrations make this one stand out.

From the changing season to decorations and costumes, children anticipate Halloween.

Little readers will enjoy all of the familiar markers of the season included in this book: falling leaves, jack-o’-lanterns, Halloween costumes, candy, and trick-or-treating. Everett’s rhyming couplets bob along safely, offering nothing that will wow but enough to keep the pages turning. It’s Wen’s illustrations that give the most to readers, full of bustling scenes and lovely details. A double-page spread of the children in town in front of the candy store includes jars with individually drawn treats and other festive delicacies. The townwide celebration features instruments, creative costumes, and a diverse crowd of people. There are three children who appear as the focus of the illustrations, though there are many secondary characters. One bespectacled White child is drawn in a manual wheelchair, another has dark brown skin, the third presents Asian. The child in the wheelchair is shown as a full participant. Readers will enjoy spotting spooks like a vampire, goblin, and werewolf, as they sometimes appear in the background and other times blend in with the crowd. The familiar trappings of Halloween paired with the robust illustrations will have little readers wanting to reread even if the content itself is not startlingly new.

High-quality, inclusive illustrations make this one stand out. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0586-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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