With bedtime-story shelves bursting, this is one that can be set aside.

READ REVIEW

PUTTING THE MONKEYS TO BED

Those monkeys just don’t want to sleep!

Snuggled in bed with his three stuffed monkeys, Sam asks his mother if he would have to go to sleep if he were a monkey. In answer, she tucks him in after reading him his favorite book—but once she leaves, his stuffed monkeys come to life and want to jump around. “They smash and bash and crash-crash-crash until all balls have been bounced and all trains have been trounced.” Mama warns him to get back in bed, and he does, but his mind teems with questions: “Do fish go to bed in their bathing suits?” Mama says she’ll answer his questions in the morning. He tries his breathing exercises, but the monkeys turn it into a “ping-pong song” and “the French ding-dong song.” Mind and monkeys still working overtime, Sam tricks the lively stuffed animals into listening to his book, and they all drift off. Choldenko’s tale of bedtime bounciness reads like something a parent might make up on the spur of the moment to quiet a restless child. Imaginative, restless tots might recognize themselves in Sam, but their imaginations are probably a bit more original and outlandish than his. Even Davis’ frenetic and funny watercolors can’t mitigate the story’s extemporaneous feel.

With bedtime-story shelves bursting, this is one that can be set aside. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-24623-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

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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