Halloween has not been as shivery, silly, and satisfying as in this polar romp.



From the Tacky the Penguin series

While his friends busy themselves getting the igloo ready for Halloween, Tacky the Penguin is less than helpful.

Lester and Munsinger continue their popular, long-running series with another tale about lovable Tacky. Although the other penguins get a bit exasperated when he samples all of the treats of “yummy gummy Swedish fish, batcicles, and awful waffles,” they do want him to participate in the Halloween festivities. The penguins decide to choose costumes that reflect what scares them the most. Readers will either relate to or giggle at their choices: an insect, the dark, a monster, “a stormy outfit,” and bubbles. But Tacky cannot decide on what to wear, so he goes off to think. In the meantime, a long line of trick-or-treaters arrives at the haunted igloo—everything goes wonderfully until there is a commotion at the door. When three huge ghosts swoop in, the penguins quickly learn they are their feared predators. The two wolves and the bear begin to tear the igloo apart looking for treats. If all the sweets are gone—and they are, thanks to Tacky—they are “gonna catch some pretty penguins / And we’ll grab ’em by the toe / And we’ll plop ’em in our treatsie bags / Hodey ho ho.” Luckily, Tacky has selected a very scary costume in the nick of time—one that ends up frightening the trio of bullies so much they run away.

Halloween has not been as shivery, silly, and satisfying as in this polar romp. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-33994-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed...


From the Turkey Trouble series

The fourth entry in the Turkey Trouble series finds Turkey and his animal friends attending a children’s Easter egg hunt at a park next to Turkey’s farm.

Turkey and his pals want to win an “eggstraspecial” prize at the egg hunt, but the event is only for children—not animals. So the group of animal friends decides to attend the egg hunt in disguise and treat their adventure as a “secret mission.” Their disguises include dark glasses and costumes suggesting a rabbit, a bee, and a bunch of daffodils, but each attempt to participate in the egg hunt is rebuffed by the human attendees. The animals work together to create a large, egg-shaped costume for Turkey from a wicker basket, and Turkey and the boy who finds him in egg mode both win special prizes. Turkey shares his prize of a huge, jelly-bean–topped pizza with all his animal buddies. The mildly humorous story has funny animal characters, inventive action, and lots of puns incorporating “egg” into other words. Cartoon-style watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add to the humor with amusing animal expressions and the ongoing series theme of silly costumes. Several of the children at the egg hunt are children of color; the other human characters present white.

Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4037-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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