Captain Underpants look-alikes return with a caper sure to tickle preschool funny bones at storytime.

WHERE'S MY TUSHY?

Playful rhyming couplets reveal the necessity of backsides.

You’d think it’d be cushy to write about tushies. You’d think it’d be easy to please. Instead, it’s a chore. The effort’s a bore, and rhyming takes real expertise. Aronson pulls it off in this jaunty picture book enlivened by humorous cartoons featuring chubby, shmoo-like figures dressed in an amazing variety of underwear. When all the tushies in town decide their lives are “too tough” and take off for vacation at the beach, people discover just how important these body parts are in their lives. Their clothes won’t stay up, and they can’t sit down. There’s no real narrative arc here. The rumps run away, romp in the sun and then return, while their owners worry and wonder where they’ve gone. The couplets, often set as quatrains, sit directly on the illustrations, many of which are double-page spreads that expand the story. Stevanovic’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations, digitally enhanced, show unhappy townsfolk making do with pillows and suspenders while detectives and police carry on their investigation and the runaways enjoy the shore. A wraparound cover sets the stage, depicting the bums escaping into the night.

Captain Underpants look-alikes return with a caper sure to tickle preschool funny bones at storytime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1197-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along.

THE CRAYONS TRICK OR TREAT

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. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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A warm and welcome story for emerging readers and their families.

PUMPKIN DAY!

Pumpkins star in this family-centered early reader.

Sketched in rhyming, easy-to-read couplets, this familiar autumn setting is made even warmer by the sweet  family that is making a trip to the pumpkin farm. “Sunny day. Pack a lunch. / In the treetops squirrels munch.” So begins the story of a black mother and father and their young son and daughter. They find their special pumpkins and return home for carving, just in time for trick-or-treating. Mother and father are shown walking hand in hand or gently guiding their youngsters, who are very excited to pick out the perfect gourd. Read aloud, the predictable rhyme scans well, making this a book for emerging readers to read over and over, gaining confidence each time. The full-color illustrations, full of oranges and yellows, match the words, providing important visual cues. Little ones will laugh when the younger brother initially finds a huge pumpkin and rolls it over the hill like a bowling ball. “Thump! Thump! Thump! Then… / Uh-oh!” Eventually, he finds one just the right size for carving. Children of color are remarkably absent in the easy-reader stacks, so it’s an especially welcome treat to see them in this rural setting. Preschool and kindergarten teachers will want to add this to their collections.

A warm and welcome story for emerging readers and their families. (Early reader. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51341-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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