Dry. Dim. Don’t bother.

READ REVIEW

DEM BONES

From the Flowerpot Holiday series

A board-book version of the familiar spiritual, revamped with animal characters in skeleton costumes.

A group of anthropomorphic, bipedal animals who appear to be wearing black, one-piece bodysuits with human skeletons printed on them dance from one spread to the next. The full-bleed cartoon art is dark and busy—especially for a board book—and there’s little variation from one spread to the next to sustain visual interest. No matter how catchy the implied tune may be to those who are familiar with it, the repetitive text is less than inspired, too. Following an opening spread in which diverse animals dance to the chorus, elephants come to the foreground to dance to the lyric reading “The TOE bone’s connected to the FOOT bone,” then ankle, then shin, culminating in the line, “Now shake dem ELEPHANT bones!” The next spread switches back to the chorus with the whole group dancing together (“Now shake dem ANIMAL bones!”). Then the pattern repeats with puppy dogs, kitty cats, and billy goats (each subgroup mysteriously joined by unmentioned dinosaurs) moving in shifts to the foreground as the verses move up the body to name different bones.

Dry. Dim. Don’t bother. (Board book. 0-2)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1674-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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