OLIVIA COUNTS

You can count on Falconer (Olivia’s Opposites, below, etc.) to keep adding droll, imaginative appearances for his precocious porcine protagonist, the inimitable Olivia. In this shorter format with sturdy, laminated pages, there is no real story, just Olivia showing us a few of her favorite things, from one red and white beach ball to ten different views of herself (several with echoes from her first story). Falconer continues his use of subtle charcoal gray shades, and he returns to Olivia’s favorite choice of lipstick red for her outfits, accessories, and toys. He also introduces four aunts and eight cousins (all in sober gray), who look as though they need jazzing up by Olivia in a future story, perhaps with her three pots of paint. The cover shows Olivia in her plaid school jumper against a gray chalkboard with the numerals from one to ten, with the number seven drawn European-style. Probably this style of numeral isn’t the best idea for the target readership, but isn’t that just the sort of thing that Olivia would do? This simple but satisfying work can serve as an introduction for younger preschoolers to the two longer Olivia stories, and Olivia’s adoring fans of all ages will give three cheers for any new Olivia tale, long or short. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-85087-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Anne Schwartz/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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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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