Flawed but playful enough to please riddle-loving youngsters.



From the Riddle Diddle Dumplings series

Tongue-twisting, ocean-themed riddles help children guess what marine creature is hiding under a flap.

In this busy board book, a lengthy, rhyming list of clues identifies a different sea animal on the verso, with the answer hiding under a flap on the recto. While the verses mostly scan, some vocabulary and syntax are fiddly, using unusual words like “landlubbers” or “spoutin’,” meaning that little ones parsing the complex rhyme may lose the thread of “tail” hinting at an answer of “whale.” Helpfully, readers get a glimpse of a part of the hiding animal on top of the flap to assist in solving the puzzle. Reading the riddles aloud is complicated by tall, thin, serif typeset. Placed upon a busy decorative border, it makes for a chaotic-looking page, and the chunky animal name hiding under the flap is similarly visually overwhelming. The colorful art, done in a collage style, is jaunty enough, with patterns and layering aplenty. It places squiggly magenta lines atop a vibrant watermelon-pink octopus and renders tentacles in plaid and stripes drifting off the jellyfish. Some may find the rough-cut smiles on the sea creatures creepy, not cute. The flaps are fairly strong, though the blunt square edges can make it hard to grip and flip. A companion title, Riddle Diddle Rainforest, shares the same style.

Flawed but playful enough to please riddle-loving youngsters. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68152-499-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Amicus Ink

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


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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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 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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