Whether on the fairy-tale shelf or the Halloween one, this notably nondiverse book may tickle readers with similar...

READ REVIEW

FAIRY TALE FRANKIE AND THE TRICKY WITCH

A white girl who really loves fairy tales is surprised one day when a bunch of fairy-tale characters visit her home and ask Frankie to hide them from the witch.

A white fairy-tale princess is first, stepping through Frankie’s bedroom window in a sparkly blue ball gown. She is hidden under the bed, while the unicorn that follows is pushed into the wardrobe. The white mermaid in the bathtub? The shower curtain hides her nicely, and the clanking, suntanned white knight in armor fits in well amid the pots and pans under the kitchen sink. A frog hides in the corn flakes box, and the white king, lampshade over his head, makes a regal lamp in the hallway. But who will hide Frankie from the witch? The girl bravely stands up to the green-faced, pointy-nosed witch, but the magic broom finds all the fairy-tale characters in short order. “Whose turn is it now?” Wait, what? Yep, this is a game of hide-and-seek, and Frankie is now it. Lenton’s illustrations combine soft shades with pops of brighter colors, and there are humorous details on every page, especially the page where Frankie finds the frog, her mouth and eyebrows showing her displeasure with the amphibian lounging in her cereal bowl, one front leg supporting his head and his back legs jauntily crossed.

Whether on the fairy-tale shelf or the Halloween one, this notably nondiverse book may tickle readers with similar interests, though perhaps only once. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6625-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fun, fun, fun all through the town! (Picture book. 4-6)

THE HIPS ON THE DRAG QUEEN GO SWISH, SWISH, SWISH

This book’s gonna werk, werk, werk all through Pride Month and beyond.

Drag persona Lil Miss Hot Mess rewrites “The Wheels on the Bus” to create a fun, movement-filled, family-friendly celebration of drag. The text opens with the titular verse to establish the familiar song’s formulaic pattern: “The hips on the drag queen go SWISH, SWISH, SWISH… / ALL THROUGH THE TOWN!” Along the way, more and more drag queens join in the celebration. The unnamed queens proudly display a range of skin tones, sizes, and body modifications to create a diverse cast of realistic characters that could easily be spotted at a Pride event or on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The palette of both costumes and backgrounds is appropriately psychedelic, and there are plenty of jewels going “BLING, BLING, BLING.” Don’t tell the queens, but the flow is the book’s real star, because it encourages natural kinetic participation that will have groups of young readers giggling and miming along with the story. Libraries and bookshops hosting drag-queen storytimes will find this a popular choice, and those celebrating LGBTQ heritage will also find this a useful book for the pre-K crowd. Curious children unfamiliar with a drag queen may require a brief explanation, but the spectacle stands up just fine on its own platforms.

Fun, fun, fun all through the town! (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6765-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lightweight fear-dispeller, without the gun violence that now makes Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (1968)...

MONSTERS AREN'T REAL

Beaten down by a ubiquitous chorus of denials (see title), a monster suffers an existential crisis.

Surrounded by emphatic claims that it doesn’t even exist, a monster sets out not only to prove the contrary, but to establish its scariness credentials too. Alas, neither blasting the world with graffiti and printed fliers nor rearing up menacingly over a baby in a carriage, children at the barre in a ballet class and other supposedly susceptible victims elicits any response. Juggling some cows attracts attention but not the terrified kind. But the monster’s final despairing surrender—“That’s it! It’s over! I give up! ... /  Monsters aren’t real (sniff)”—triggers an indignant denial of a different sort from a second, smaller but wilder-looking, creature. It takes the first in hand and leads it off, declaring “We’re two big, strong, scary monsters, and we’ll prove it.” In truth, it won’t escape even very young readers that neither is particularly scary-looking. Indeed, the protagonist-monster is depicted in the sparsely detailed cartoon illustrations as a furry, almost cuddly, bearlike hulk with light-blue spots, antlers and comically googly eyes, certain to provoke more giggles than screams.

A lightweight fear-dispeller, without the gun violence that now makes Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (1968) so discomfiting. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61067-073-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more