Teamwork, sharing, and neighborly friendship emerge as integral ingredients in this sweet, satisfying book for young readers.

GOOD MORNING, NEIGHBOR

Forest friends need an egg to bake a cake, and while their animal neighbors cannot offer all the other necessary ingredients, they do join the confectionary quest.

Mouse needs the egg for an omelet, but Blackbird has only flour, with which they can make cake. They find Dormouse, who has butter and who suggests everybody approach Mole, who has sugar—but still no egg. The roving (and ever growing) band of merry would-be bakers will bring smiles to small readers, who will rejoice in reciting the growing list of creatures and chiming in with their choral salutations of each new animal: “Good morning, neighbor.” This endearing story’s accumulation of animals, donations, and repetitive phrasing cleverly underscores (and embodies) the abundant, collaborative love of a tightknit community. Dek’s watercolor illustrations evoke folk-art charm with their straightforward brush strokes, chunky caricatures, absence of perspective, and inherent warmth expressed through lovely details. Hedgehog sits idly in a bentwood rocker; a window box of plants hangs outside Blackbird’s hollow-tree entry; strings of lights drape tree branches; a roped boardwalk spirals up a trunk to Owl’s nest; a painted checkerboard motif distinguishes Mouse’s doorway. When it’s finally time to cut the cake, readers might feel eager to initiate their own cooking project or perhaps simply to run across the way to find a friend. 

Teamwork, sharing, and neighborly friendship emerge as integral ingredients in this sweet, satisfying book for young readers. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61689-699-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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