A cuddly, reassuring holiday tale.

THE PERFECT TREE

Bunny searches for the perfect Christmas tree.

For her, perfect means one that’s “just her size.” Her friends’ ideas of perfection match their physical characteristics. Squirrel suggests a tree that, like his tail, is bushy; Mole believes that a Christmas tree’s top should be pointed, like her nose; vibrantly red Cardinal mentions color—the “greenest green”—as the singular attribute; and Skunk thinks that aroma is key: It “should smell like Christmas.” Each pal also guides Bunny to the best place to locate her tree. Bunny finds trees that are almost perfect but not quite. Deer posits that “maybe there isn’t a perfect tree,” or, perhaps, Bunny reflects, she hasn’t found it yet, and she starts to return home. Suddenly, she spies a tree she had previously overlooked but that meets physical specifications. Bunny realizes she hasn’t the heart to cut it down. Her friends appear on the scene and help her decorate the tree with the garlands she’d previously gathered; they sing carols, and Bunny understands why she’s found the perfect tree after all. This sweet, delightful story brims with messages of holiday warmth, cooperation, and friendship. Charming, vividly colored illustrations set a lovely holiday tone, with bright green trees highlighting wintry scenes of glistening white. Toward the end, blue-black skies are highlighted by puffs of falling snow, and the endearing animal characters are gaily dressed for winter. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A cuddly, reassuring holiday tale. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-951836-42-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cameron Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along.

THE CRAYONS TRICK OR TREAT

The Crayons return in time for Halloween as vampire-costumed Purple coaches the dressed-up wax pack through its first trick-or-treating venture.

It takes five houses’ worth of door-knocks for this skeleton crew of seven to perfect the protocol, with enough outlandish flubs to generate giggles in Halloween-savvy preschoolers. At Door No. 1, Orange, dressed as a jack-o’-lantern, says, “Give us your candy, Lady.” At the next, the gang, encouraged by Purple to “think holiday,” responds with an impressive array of misguided greetings, including “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy American Cheese Month!” Later, White, levitating impressively in a ghost costume, overreacts to Halloween’s “scary” aspect by overwhelming residents with a “BOO!” Peach, unnamed here but recognizably wrapperless from the initial title, exuberantly (and inappropriately) repeats, “I’m naked!” Finally, the troupe perfects its treat-inducing line, though a certain ghost cannot resist an ad lib. This excursion, like many of the holiday-themed Crayon books, has a smaller trim size, a lower price point, and far less complexity than Daywalt and Jeffers’ first two Crayon titles. Still, the pair deftly let young children in on the jokes through funny, hand-lettered dialogue and the visually telegraphed, all-in haplessness of this well-branded band. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-62102-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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