Some will miss seeing Santa in a traditional red suit (fur or not), but Library Mouse fans will enjoy this peripheral...

READ REVIEW

'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

This interpretation of the classic Christmas story includes a few twists, such as a mouse family in the main roles, a human Santa dressed as a lumberjack, and some minor updates to the text.

Kirk is well-known for his Library Mouse series, and here he uses that expertise to create a believable mouse character and a cozy mouse house decorated for Christmas. Father Mouse wears a red nightshirt and cap, and he narrates the story just as a human father would. Santa wears a red cap with earflaps, a red buffalo plaid jacket, and tall brown boots. The text states that he was dressed “like a woodsman” rather than “all in fur.” The verse with Santa smoking his pipe is eliminated in this version, and a few lines of the traditional text are updated here and there, with “yummy treats” instead of sugarplums and no mention of “laying his finger aside of his nose.” An author’s note details the reasons for the textual changes and also explains that the mouse narrator is the father of Sam, the main character in the Library Mouse series. Clues to this relationship can be found in the illustrations, such as Sam’s stocking hanging by the fireplace in the mouse house. The illustrations are attractively composed, with textural highlights and speckles of snow in dark blue skies.

Some will miss seeing Santa in a traditional red suit (fur or not), but Library Mouse fans will enjoy this peripheral extension of the series. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-14197-1233-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff.

THE LITTLEST EASTER BUNNY

From the Littlest series

The smallest bunny in Easter Town finds that she and her little chick friend are big enough to help the Easter Bunny prepare for the annual Easter egg hunt.

In the fifth entry in the Littlest series, Penny the bunny wants to help get ready for Easter. All the rabbits in her family are busy with their special jobs, getting eggs, candy, and baskets in order, but little Penny seems too small or clumsy to be of any help. Her parents and siblings try to let her assist them, but she falls into a vat of dye, spills marshmallow goo, gets tangled in the strands of a basket, and fails to fill even one Easter basket. Feeling dejected, Penny befriends a tiny chick named Peck. With the help of Penny’s family, Penny and Peck make miniature treats and petite baskets suitable to their own size. When the Easter Bunny’s main helpers fall ill, Penny and Peck convince the Easter Bunny that their small size will help them do the best job of finding spots to hide eggs as well as their own tiny basket creations. This too-pat conclusion doesn’t quite hold up to logical analysis, as the full-size eggs and baskets are still too large for Penny and Peck to handle. Bland cartoon illustrations are filled with bunnies in candy-bright pastels with a greeting-card cuteness quotient.

Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-32912-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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