The joyful celebration of common activity radiates from every page.

MAGGIE AND MICHAEL GET DRESSED

Michael’s mother informs him that it is time to get dressed, but he has other ideas.

The caramel-hued, rosy-cheeked preschooler with gingerbread curls and mischievous chocolate-brown eyes chooses to clothe his small dog, Maggie, instead of himself. This early concept book focuses on the colors of the shoes, hats, caps, and socks he puts on the dog. With her trademark style of jewel-toned dyed–paper-pulp paintings, Caldecott Honoree Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993) elevates this everyday activity. Through her soft, felted lines, readers share the comforting contours of Maggie curled up asleep as well as the pleased, overdressed pup reaching up for a kiss. Care has been taken in the typeface choices to echo the soft edges created by the images, and in the text, the colors’ names are highlighted in the corresponding hues and set in a separate, painterly type. The limited language and patterned repetition (“Look, Maggie—socks. Yellow socks”) make this text accessible to beginning readers as well as enjoyable as a participatory read-aloud. Visual humor abounds. Readers’ view of Michael’s mom is of the hem of her stylish, flowered below-the-knee skirt, bare ankles, and ballet flats rushing past the doorway. A marmalade tiger cat and baby sibling watch all of the action from the background, and observant readers will enjoy their Easter-egg feature on the back cover.

The joyful celebration of common activity radiates from every page. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8794-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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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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