A starter fractured fairy tale for readers not yet ready for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

THE THREE LITTLE SUPERPIGS

Will the Big Bad Wolf have his revenge on those three little pigs?

After the three little pigs captured the Big Bad Wolf in a pot of boiling water and sent him to Happily Never After Prison, the residents of Fairyland dubbed the little porkers THE THREE LITTLE SUPERPIGS (always referred to in all-caps). As the heroes fight crime all over Fairyland (and relish the attention from their fans), the Big Bad Wolf plots alone in his cell. Soon bricks begin vanishing from all over the realm, and the Wolf escapes from prison! All the denizens of Fairyland hide in their homes. Try as they might, the pigs can’t find the Wolf or the bricks…until he finds them and uses the bricks to capture the SUPERPIGS. Can they escape his trap—or is their bacon fried? Evans’ smart twist on the familiar tale will elicit giggles at its clever wordplay and fairy-tale cameos. The details in the (probably) digitally created, brightly colored illustrations will make repeated readings as much fun as the first—a police lineup of grandmas with an oh-so-obvious Wolf is particularly funny. All three pigs are male, and human residents of Fairyland all present white.

A starter fractured fairy tale for readers not yet ready for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-24545-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

CARPENTER'S HELPER

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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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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