MEOWL-O-WEEN

A seasonal story with nary a scare, suitable for tiny tot cat fans.

The neighborhood kitties are out for a prowl on Halloween!

“Out we flounce from our pillows. / Out we pounce from the willows.” Cats of all colors and kinds join the parade to stalk a diverse group of trick-or-treaters. There are no scaredy cats…except maybe one little gray kitten who has lost her way and her mama. The rest of the cats follow the smiling humans until one bold black cat scares them with a sudden yowl. “Such terrific / furr-i-fic FUN!” The two groups march on together. Kitten is still crying for her mother. Finally, Mom sees a tiny tail among the jack-o’-lanterns. The two snuggle and watch the cats and humans. Then Kitten jumps out to give that bold black cat a scare, and it’s time for treats. Happy “Meowl-o-ween!” Muldrow’s rhyming romp is a fine feline addition to libraries with large Halloween collections or as a gift for a favorite kitty collector. Chen’s digitally created illustrations in a colorful palette feature bright-eyed pussycats and exuberant treat-seekers enjoying a slightly spooky Halloween. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A seasonal story with nary a scare, suitable for tiny tot cat fans. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781662602009

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Astra Young Readers

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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

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 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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