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GINNY GOBLIN CANNOT HAVE A MONSTER FOR A PET

Ginny is becoming a symbol of toddler power.

The lovable, green-skinned imp has returned following her introduction in Ginny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box (2018).

The first page establishes the fact that Ginny Goblin loves animals and that goats are among her favorites. The grinning, big-eyed toddler stands atop a similarly featured goat. The page turn reveals why goats are not good house pets: Five comical goats are wreaking havoc in a dining room. The fun begins when the narrator naively says, “Maybe if we help Ginny Goblin find a pet, she’ll stop trying to herd goats through the house.” The art perfectly complements the imaginative, absurd text, as Ginny—defying authority—tries to acquire a pet through such means as a bear trap, military tank, submarine, and rocket ship. No hermit crab or bunny for her! Just enough shiver accompanies the text and comical art’s introductions to such creatures as a kraken, a dragon, a basilisk, and a space monster. Even as Ginny is depicted doing the things she is not allowed to do, the text poses the frightful consequences: “If Ginny took her basilisk to school for show-and-tell, her whole class would turn into statues.” The text further accommodates little ones by frequently invoking the title; its tongue-in-cheek humor and clever wordplay will keep more sophisticated readers engaged. The surprise ending will elicit both a smile and a wink from all.

Ginny is becoming a symbol of toddler power. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-544-76416-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT

A handsome edition of an old favorite.

The familiar cumulative game is played by four children, along with their father and their dog, at the typically British beach pictured on the lovely, expansive first endpaper. 

The children's real activities are shown in b&w drawings; the imaginative doings appear in full color. Although some of the color pages show perfectly possible events, most are clearly fantasy, suggesting just how close the two may be in children's minds. The family ends up in safe retreat in one big cozy bed; the bear is seen--on the second essential, beautiful endpaper--headed into a gloomy sea. Oxenbury's splendid watercolors and drawings perfectly evoke both landscape and the members of the questing family. 

A handsome edition of an old favorite. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1989

ISBN: 978-0-689-50476-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1989

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PLANET KINDERGARTEN

Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions.

A genius way to ease kids into the new adventure that is kindergarten.

In an imaginative ruse that’s maintained through the whole book, a young astronaut prepares for his mission to Planet Kindergarten. On liftoff day (a space shuttle–themed calendar counts down the days; a stopwatch, the minutes), the small family boards their rocket ship (depicted in the illustrations as the family car), and “the boosters fire.” They orbit base camp while looking for a docking place. “I am assigned to my commander, capsule, and crewmates.” Though he’s afraid, he stands tall and is brave (not just once, either—the escape hatch beckons, but NASA’s saying gets him through: “FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION”). Parents will certainly chuckle along with this one, but kindergarten teachers’ stomach muscles will ache: “[G]ravity works differently here. We have to try hard to stay in our seats. And our hands go up a lot.” Prigmore’s digital illustrations are the perfect complement to the tongue-in-cheek text. Bold colors, sharp lines and a retro-space style play up the theme. The intrepid explorer’s crewmates are a motley assortment of “aliens”—among them are a kid in a hoodie with the laces pulled so tight that only a nose and mouth are visible; a plump kid with a bluish cast to his skin; and a pinkish girl with a toothpick-thin neck and huge bug eyes.

Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1893-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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