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HOLI COLORS!

An electric holiday adventure with an appealing message.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2021

When a girl’s perception of color suddenly transforms, she’s worried she won’t be able to celebrate Holi with her family in this India-set holiday tale.

Maya loves Holi’s multihued decorations, the bonfire, the sweets, and splashing her family and friends with color. After watching the Krishnanattam show, a classical dance retelling the legends of Lord Krishna, with her grandfather, she slips on a kaleidoscope, falls, and is knocked out. When she awakens, the world has gone black, white, and gray—all except the people, whose skin colors are now blues, greens, reds, and more! Maya is distraught—how will she be able celebrate Holi, the festival of colors? But with the help of her friends, she realizes, “Even if all the Holi colors look white, they will still glow on your colorful faces!” Soon, Maya awakens again to realize that her gray world was just a dream, and Holi can go on as planned. Author/illustrator Jatkar takes care in explaining the traditions of a holiday readers may not be familiar with while also allowing the focus to be on the story of Maya’s adventure. The intricate illustrations of Maya’s busy city—awash in a rainbow of hues—are a stark contrast to the black-and-white outlined versions of the same city. One quibble: the font isn’t especially attractive. Although some terms may be unfamiliar, the prose—including dialogue in speech bubbles—is well supported by illustrations that provide contextual clues.

An electric holiday adventure with an appealing message.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9977181-5-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Monkeymantra

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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HOW TO CATCH A DADDYSAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

This frenetic ode to fatherhood is predictable fare but may please series fans.

It’s time to look for the elusive Daddysaurus.

In this latest installment in the seemingly never-ending series about a group of diverse kids attempting to trap mythical creatures, the youngsters are now on the lookout for a big mauve dinosaur with an emblazoned D on his stomach and a superhero cape. The fast-moving Daddysaurus is always on the go; he will be difficult to catch. Armed with blueprints of possible ideas, the kids decide which traps to set. As in previous works, ones of the sticky variety seem popular. They cover barbells with fly paper (Daddysaurus like to exercise) and spread glue on the handle of a shovel (Daddysaurus also likes to garden). One clever trick involves tempting Daddysaurus with a drawing of a hole, taped to the wall, because he fixes everything that breaks. Daddysaurus is certainly engaged in the children’s lives, not a workaholic or absent, but he does fall into some standard tropes associated with fathers. The rhyming quatrains stumble at times but for the most part bounce along. Overall, though, text and art feel somewhat formulaic and likely will tempt only devotees of the series. The final page of the book (after Daddysaurus is caught with love) has a space for readers to write a note or draw a picture of their own Daddysaurus. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This frenetic ode to fatherhood is predictable fare but may please series fans. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-72826-618-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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