But nothing is new or truly exciting here, leaving this average effort lacking in tricks or treats.

READ REVIEW

TRICK-OR-TREAT

A HAPPY HAUNTER'S HALLOWEEN

Overall, Leppanen’s collection of 15 poems—some clever, some funny, some creepy and some ho-hum—should get kids in a Halloween frame of mind.

On October 31st, just about anything can happen, as these selections prove. Readers can consider what they would do if their shadows stopped following them or how they would cope with a wickedly grinning monster that they notice only when brushing their teeth before bed (it’s perched on this child’s head). Some poems allow kids to ponder how different life might be if it was always populated with such creepy creatures. If their mothers were mummies, would they serve “worms on toast” for breakfast or pack “spider eggs for lunch”? Do pingpong-playing skeletons get the shivers, since they are nothing but bones? Is it ever a good idea to invite a ravenously hungry ghoul into the house? Does it make sense that witches ride mops instead of broomsticks when it rains? Carpenter digitally illustrates each poem with a double-page spread saturated with bright colors against the relatively darker backgrounds of nighttime. His cartoon characters comically display the slight frights they experience.

But nothing is new or truly exciting here, leaving this average effort lacking in tricks or treats. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-3398-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How to Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sure to be poopular with party planners, particularly those with strong stomachs and a hands-on approach.

THE GREAT BIG POOP PARTY

The you-know-what hits the fan after a lad’s parents rashly allow him to pick a theme for his birthday party.

Julian insists, and so after the party store poops out, everyone sets to cranking out homemade poop-up invitations, “poopsicles” and “lollypoops,” costumes, and games like “Pin-the-Poop-on-the-Toilet.” But will anyone drop in? Do they ever—in such massive streams that even the local news team catches wind of the event. Better yet, dancing the “Doo-Doo Doo-op” to tunes from the Dookie-Poo band and whacking the poop piñata, everyone has a blast. The party assumes such legendary status that news of it spreads around the world, prompting Julian and his family to create a graphic instruction manual together. Galán goes to town with swirling scenes in saturated hues with lots of brown, featuring hyped-up figures with wide eyes and huge grins. Julian’s family appears to be an interracial one, with an Asian-presenting dad and White-presenting mom whose attitudes modulate from disgust to delight over the course of the story. Readers inspired to organize poop parties of their own will find models for suitable decorations in the pictures. A caveat: The recipe for poop slime that Berger applies to the tail end uses glue and baby oil, among other ingredients, but is not labeled as inedible. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 65% of actual size.)

Sure to be poopular with party planners, particularly those with strong stomachs and a hands-on approach. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23787-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more