A slightly cryptic but satisfying wolf/pig reversal.



Three carny pigs push a patient wolf too far in Gravett’s latest.

On the opening endpapers, three pigs with a net chase a wolf. Soon they’re pasting up a circus poster trumpeting, “The Three Pigs Proudly Present WOLF WON’T BITE!” One pig wears a ringmaster jacket, one a tutu and one a weightlifter’s leotard. In elaborate and ever-shifting display types, they crow, “Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! We have caught a wild wolf!” The wolf, looking dubious, sticks his head out of an old-fashioned wheeled circus cage. White space surrounds the animals, showing no context beyond props. Oil-based pencil sharpens and details red, pink and gray watercolor (the tutu’s yellow-white). These pigs are barkers, announcing each trick as they do it. They ride the wolf like a horse; they throw knives at him. When they shoot him from a cannon, he rockets from the back-middle of the left page right off the spread’s front right corner, about to smash into readers. Subtlety is conveyed in the wolf’s priceless expressions (doubtful, apprehensive) and the question of why the pigs are so cocksure, repeatedly boasting, “WOLF WON’T BITE!” Their hubris whets readers’ expectations: Surely the pigs go too far? The punch line’s not a bite, but it’s a welcome turnaround—and don't miss the closing endpapers.

A slightly cryptic but satisfying wolf/pig reversal. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2763-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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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