GHOST'S HOUR, SPOOK'S HOUR

In welcome contrast to the many books like There's a Nightmare in My Closet, here's a realistic story about the resolution of nighttime fears. When the boy narrator wakes, it's dark and the wind is howling. When the lights don't work, he and dog Biff set out to find his parents—but their bed is empty. Everything seems scary in the dark house; but each time a new fear looms, the boy figures out what is frightening him—tree branches against the window, the clock striking twelve. Then his own image, carrying the white dog, gleams out of the mirror and so startles him that he cries out, which rouses his parents—kept awake by the banging branches, they were sleeping downstairs on the sofa. Candles and a good four-in-a-bed snuggle make a cozy conclusion; though the boy has dealt sensibly with all his fears, it's comforting to know where his parents are. Carrick's dark scenes are painted with his usual sure touch, making the familiar believably spooky as lit by a full moon through the breaking clouds of a storm-filled sky. A pleasant story about self-reliance; sure to be useful.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1987

ISBN: 0395515831

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1987

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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It is a hug, a kiss, and a valentine rolled into one—and just as fleeting.

HAPPY HEART

In this heart-shaped confection, the narrator declares their love for young readers.

The edges of each page are cut into different designs to emulate the sun’s rays, the outlines of trees, the Earth, flowers, and more and are frosted with a sparkly layer of glitter that resists the energetic rubbing of little fingers. In the center of each image is a tiny, emoji-like icon grinning at readers, and brightly colored accompanying spot art is sprinkled throughout. Enthusiastic, mostly rhyming text appears in a multicolored type on the verso. The pages increase in size with each page turn, for a layered look when closed, culminating with a giant heart that bookends the smaller opening one as the prose declares: “For you my heart grows / because I love you so!” While the binding is narrow, the whole enterprise is considerably sturdy. It’s an entirely forgettable but bright bagatelle, good for a few readings.

It is a hug, a kiss, and a valentine rolled into one—and just as fleeting. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3202-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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