Hoppy Christmas to all (and a Merry Easter, too).

SANTA CLAUS VS. THE EASTER BUNNY

A clash between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny resolves itself in merry collaboration.

The title should be switched: It’s the Easter Bunny who plots to take down Santa Claus after feeling bitter about all of the help and thanks St. Nick receives year after year. As the text explains, the Bunny has no elf helpers and follows an exhausting three-step process to make chocolate eggs “before delivering them all by himself. (Which explains why you often find Easter eggs scattered all over your yard).” Then, in stark contrast to Santa, who receives goodies from children around the globe, including carrots for his reindeer, the Easter Bunny gets no thanks. “I LIKE CARROTS. IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR A CARROT?” he exclaims in an angry speech bubble. Grinch-like, he decides to sabotage Christmas by filling the elves’ toy-making machines with chocolate: “THOSE POOR SWEET CHILDREN! WHATEVER WILL THEY DO WHEN THEIR TOYS MELT? Wooo Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.” Alas, the plan backfires. Children are delighted by their chocolate toys. “I CAN PLAY AND EAT CHOCOLATE AT THE SAME TIME!” says one child who holds a chocolate airplane. Bereft, the Easter Bunny decides to leave for good, but Santa stops him and offers a jolly partnership, complete with elf helpers—and carrots! Blunt’s scratchy cartoons go big on the Bunny’s maniacal grins.

Hoppy Christmas to all (and a Merry Easter, too). (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-9164-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses.

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

An elusive new quarry leads the How To Catch… kids on a merry chase through a natural history museum.

Taking at least a step away from the “hunters versus prey” vibe of previous entries in the popular series, the racially diverse group of young visitors dashes through various museum halls in pursuit of the eponymous dino—whose quest to “spread kindness and joy ’round the world” takes the form of a mildly tumultuous museum tour. In most of Elkerton’s overly sweet, color-saturated scenes, only portions of the Loveosaurus, who is purple and covered with pink hearts, are visible behind exhibits or lumbering off the page. But the children find small enticements left behind, from craft supplies to make cards for endangered species to pictures of smiley faces, candy heart–style personal notes (“You Rock!” “Give Hugs”), and, in the hall of medieval arms and armor, a sign urging them to “Be Honest Be Kind.” The somewhat heavy-handed lesson comes through loud and clear. “There’s a message, he wants us to think,” hints Walstead to clue in more obtuse readers…and concluding scenes of smiling people young and otherwise exchanging hugs and knuckle bumps, holding doors for a wheelchair rider, and dancing through clouds of sparkles indicate that they, at least, have gotten it. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781728268781

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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