Share this cartoonish, mock-horror tale with the not-so-sleepy at bedtime or rely upon it as a superb storytime choice where...

BEDTIME FOR MONSTERS

“Do YOU ever WONDER if somewhere, not too far away, there might be… / MONSTERS?” Whether readers do or not, it is hard to resist being swept up in the silly suspense of possibly becoming the target for this monster’s hungry attention.

A pea green, neon-pink–horned creature with big, white eyes and a wide-open mouth with yellow stubs of teeth comes off as more ridiculous than terrifying. But the language warns of his impending approach through pointed questions: “And as he crosses the gloopy, schloopy swamp…do you think he’s imagining just HOW GOOD you’ll taste all covered in ketchup?” Vere strikes the perfect balance of humor and thrills—so much so that readers may not know if they should be shaking with fear or laughter as the story progresses. After the monster happily rides his red bicycle through the “dark and terrible forest,” “tiptoes through thorns and thistles” and “climbs up the cold and snowy mountains,” getting ever closer, he arrives in town, creaks up the stairs and “opens your bedroom door” because “THIS monster wants… / a disgustingly sloppy GOODNIGHT KISS!”

Share this cartoonish, mock-horror tale with the not-so-sleepy at bedtime or rely upon it as a superb storytime choice where all can have fun participating in the hilarious sound effects. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9509-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

PRINCESSES WEAR PANTS

This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more