Two messages come through loud and clear: caregivers’ love for their children and, in the words of the ghost parent: “I’ll...

READ REVIEW

GO TO SLEEP, LITTLE CREEP

A bedtime book for all the nocturnal ghouls, ghosts, and goblins.

Structured identically to the many twee books about bedtime for human children, this is designed to do the same job: get little ones to sleep. Just as human children want one more cuddle, snack, and book, so too do these monsters’ offspring. Godzilla’s diapered child wants to keep stomping block cities, and it’s a struggle to get the bigfoot child’s toes scrubbed, face brushed, and pajamas on. Then there are those pesky fears that parents need to banish (imagined terrors include a unicorn and a cute kitten). The beauty of Quinn’s text, though (the vampire dad’s request for one more bite and a couple of bobbled rhymes excepted), is that this will work on human children as well. Indeed, some of the typical twee has made it to these pages, demonstrating that monster caregivers are just as sentimental as human ones: “A little wonder, yes, that’s true. / A miracle, uniquely you.” Spires’ illustrations mix the tender with the slightly macabre (the zombie child’s stuffed animal is missing its lower half), and the palette is dark and subdued to match the time before the dawn.

Two messages come through loud and clear: caregivers’ love for their children and, in the words of the ghost parent: “I’ll always love you, to the grave. / But frankly, dear, it’s sleep I crave.” Truer words were never spoken. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-93944-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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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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Love can be shared in so many ways; reading this together is a start.

LOLA DUTCH I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

Lola Dutch has many ways of communicating her love to her friends.

When each of her anthropomorphic animal friends starts the day grumpy, Lola (a human girl) knows just what to do, and readers of Gary Chapman’s popular 5 Love Languages books will recognize them. She sews cozy pajamas for chilly Gator (receiving gifts), arranges Crane’s strewn-about books in a “Book Nook” (acts of service), organizes an outing to the park for Pig (quality time), and gives Bear a hug (physical touch). In return, her four friends celebrate just how much they appreciate and love her with a banner and a cake (words of affirmation). The rear copyright page includes a small, easily overlooked paragraph citing the book’s inspiration and asking readers how they feel loved and show love to their friends. No information is given about how to determine which love language to use in different situations or with different people. The loosely outlined illustrations are a delight because of the expressive characters and Lola Dutch’s infectious exuberance. Lola is pale-skinned with a brown pageboy. The dust jacket unfolds to show a party scene, Bear and Crane preprinted on the page. Lola Dutch and Gator are paper dolls that can be cut out along with a loving note to share with someone special. Pig is absent.

Love can be shared in so many ways; reading this together is a start. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0117-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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