A cuddly, reassuring holiday tale.

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. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022


A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies.

Pigeon finds something better to drive than some old bus.

This time it’s Santa delivering the fateful titular words, and with a “Ho. Ho. Whoa!” the badgering begins: “C’mon! Where’s your holiday spirit? It would be a Christmas MIRACLE! Don’t you want to be part of a Christmas miracle…?” Pigeon is determined: “I can do Santa stuff!” Like wrapping gifts (though the accompanying illustration shows a rather untidy present), delivering them (the image of Pigeon attempting to get an oversize sack down a chimney will have little ones giggling), and eating plenty of cookies. Alas, as Willems’ legion of young fans will gleefully predict, not even Pigeon’s by-now well-honed persuasive powers (“I CAN BE JOLLY!”) will budge the sleigh’s large and stinky reindeer guardian. “BAH. Also humbug.” In the typically minimalist art, the frustrated feathered one sports a floppily expressive green and red elf hat for this seasonal addition to the series—but then discards it at the end for, uh oh, a pair of bunny ears. What could Pigeon have in mind now? “Egg delivery, anyone?”

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781454952770

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023


A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along.

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. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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