Serene, quietly joyous and utterly life-affirming.



Three friends with different philosophies spend a companionable day together, crocheting and weathering storms.

Boom is a bear, Twitty a robin and Snot a snail. Boom and Snot lie on their stomachs near a tree, reading, while Twitty crochets with pink yarn. Presently, the decisions begin. Twitty suggests staying where they are; Boom suggests going somewhere; Snot suggests waiting. So they each do: Twitty stays put (up the tree, where she’d already gone), Boom goes somewhere (up the tree to join her), and Snot waits on the ground, gathering yarn. When storm clouds arrive, Boom—standing on the treetop—leans into the wind and yells “Jump!”; Twitty shelters her yarn and cries “Hold on!”; Snot closes her eyes and murmurs, “Wind!” Lightning and a downpour make Boom yell “Run!” and Twitty cry “Hide!,” while Snot smiles and sighs, “Rain!” Here’s the subtle magnificence: Nary a speck of alienation from one another mars their vastly different approaches, nor does the text portray Snot’s easily found pleasure as more enlightened. The pale, softly colored backgrounds are bare, highlighting the characters, tree, yarn and dynamic weather. Liwska’s crosshatchings, downy edges and bright animal eyes are entrancing and tranquil. The crochet project progresses finely, growing (it’s briefly a tree cozy), unraveling (Boom jumps off the tree wearing it as a cape) and ending up someplace perfect.

Serene, quietly joyous and utterly life-affirming. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 17, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-670-78575-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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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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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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