“ ’Tis the season to be jolly,” after all, and this rollicking parody neatly fits the bill.

DECK THE WALLS

A WACKY CHRISTMAS CAROL

This hilarious parody of the familiar Yuletide carol starts with mashed potatoes on the walls and ends with cousins sliding downhill in the snow and the whole family singing carols together.

The traditional Christmas song of “Deck the Halls” has a buoyant rhythm but relatively sedate words and images, such as boughs of holly. This version features a group of five cousins who like to mix things up and enjoy their food in some nontraditional ways. As the song begins, the cousins are mashing potatoes, flipping blobs onto the walls. The kids make a snowman out of tomatoes and more mashed potatoes and try olives on their fingers and celery stalks behind their ears. As the family dinner disintegrates, the cousins play olive hockey with celery-stalk sticks; major splashes of gravy result before sensible aunts and uncles intervene. Each line of text is interspersed with the traditional refrain of “Fa la la la la, la la la la” in large type, and the new song lyrics can be sung to the old tune, following along in suitably merry measure. Amusing illustrations and a large format make this a fine choice for singing along with a group, and the traditional words and music are also included.

“ ’Tis the season to be jolly,” after all, and this rollicking parody neatly fits the bill. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58536-857-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers.

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How to Catch… series

The bestselling series (How to Catch an Elf, 2016, etc.) about capturing mythical creatures continues with a story about various ways to catch the Easter Bunny as it makes its annual deliveries.

The bunny narrates its own story in rhyming text, beginning with an introduction at its office in a manufacturing facility that creates Easter eggs and candy. The rabbit then abruptly takes off on its delivery route with a tiny basket of eggs strapped to its back, immediately encountering a trap with carrots and a box propped up with a stick. The narrative focuses on how the Easter Bunny avoids increasingly complex traps set up to catch him with no explanation as to who has set the traps or why. These traps include an underground tunnel, a fluorescent dance floor with a hidden pit of carrots, a robot bunny, pirates on an island, and a cannon that shoots candy fish, as well as some sort of locked, hazardous site with radiation danger. Readers of previous books in the series will understand the premise, but others will be confused by the rabbit’s frenetic escapades. Cartoon-style illustrations have a 1960s vibe, with a slightly scary, bow-tied bunny with chartreuse eyes and a glowing palette of neon shades that shout for attention.

This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3817-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will...

HOW TO SCARE A GHOST

From the How To... series

Reagan and Wildish continue their How to… series with this Halloween-themed title.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to scare a ghost, this handbook is what you need. In it, a pair of siblings shows readers “how to attract a ghost” (they like creepily carved pumpkins and glitter), identify a ghost (real ghosts “never, ever open doors”), and scare a ghost (making faces, telling scary stories). Also included is a warning not to go too far—a vacuum is over-the-top on the scary chart for ghosts. Once you’ve calmed your ghost again, it’s time to play (just not hide-and-seek or on a trampoline) and then decide on costumes for trick-or-treating. Your ghost will also need to learn Halloween etiquette (knocking instead of floating through doors). The title seems a little misleading considering only two spreads are dedicated to trying to scare a ghost, but the package as a whole is entertaining. Wildish’s digital cartoon illustrations are as bright as ever, and the brother and sister duo have especially expressive faces. Both are white-presenting, as are all the other characters except for some kids in the very last spread.

The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will be clean from all the vacuuming. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0190-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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