Good concept and illustrations; best for households familiar with the observance.

DAY OF THE DEAD

A COUNT AND FIND PRIMER

Children can count from one to 10 with items related to the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead.

Joyful and energy-filled illustrations portray different people and objects that are part of the holiday. No. 1 is a comparsa, here described simplistically as “a carnival-like celebration” though a comparsa is not a celebration but a defined group of people that take part in the celebration. The other items are two catrinas, three “photographs of the departed,” four crowns of flowers, five musicians, six pan de muertos (“bread of the dead”), seven marigolds, eight candles, nine papel picado (“tissue paper art”), and 10 sugar skulls. For each item, readers must find the required number within the illustration. Some are easier than others, but all will have children looking and taking in the myriad details to be found in each double-page spread. At the end, the author has included 10 additional objects for children to go back and look for in the illustrations. The backmatter also includes a little information on each item. Children acquainted with this holiday will recognize the familiar objects; children for whom this is a new holiday will need some adult guidance, as the book gives no explanation for the reason for the holiday. Though most of people portrayed sport masks, the skin tones perceived range from pink to different shades of brown.

Good concept and illustrations; best for households familiar with the observance. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4236-5426-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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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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