Perfect for young sleuths with active imaginations who want to solve one more mystery before bedtime

READ REVIEW

LITTLE FOX AND THE MISSING MOON

A quiet mystery for bedtime that shines in its simplicity.

It’s spring-cleaning time, when everyone is hard at work. Little Fox, who loves mysteries and fancies himself a detective, polishes his Detecting Magnifying Glass as he dusts, so he’s ready when a bad dream tells him the moon has been devoured by monsters! Sure enough, when he opens his eyes, the moon is gone. Out he goes into the nighttime woods to search for the missing moon, joined by nocturnal friends Owl, Wolf, and Bear. When they go to invite diurnal Rabbit to join their expedition, they discover him in his house, up to his armpits in soap suds, busily washing the moon! A 90-degree turn shows the friends returning the moon to the sky in a vertical illustration to demonstrate its distance. Trukhan’s bold colors, attention to open space and object placement, and compelling use of geometric shapes evoke the bright village by day and the gently spooky woods by night in an appealing, retro graphic style. Inky, dark endpapers feature charmingly drawn white stars, setting the stage for the story. The understated gender bend in this picture book presents male characters busily cleaning, offering young children an alternative to traditional roles.

Perfect for young sleuths with active imaginations who want to solve one more mystery before bedtime . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55565-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

CREEPY CARROTS!

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more