Leave these penguins on the ice.



As the title implies, a counting book set at the zoo.

Starting with “ten playful penguins, living in the zoo,” forced rhymes count down in reverse as the penguins meet zoo animals: elephants, chimps, hippos, a bear, parrots, pandas, seals, and a zebra (unnamed but described as “stripy”). With each encounter, one stays to play with that animal. The penguins meet only eight animals, which may confuse some readers, as one remains in the rookery in order to prepare a feast because “she’s so good and kind!” (Really, the one who cooks is female?) The penguins are cute—raised plastic forms peeking through die-cut windows—but the slight story and cartoonish illustrations are trying too hard to match their appeal. The pictures add little new information, and the text attributes human characteristics to several of the animals. (Hippos don't take bubble baths.) The second couplet on each spread, “ ‘Penguins, stay and have some fun.’  / ‘Yes, please!’ says another one,” is meant to provide a predictable refrain but is wordy for young children and scans poorly for adults who must read this to them. The last page has the best illustrations, though why the penguins now sport hats and drink from stemware is unclear. Adding to the book’s woes, Arabic numerals are nowhere to be found.

Leave these penguins on the ice. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-79439-8

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet