A fine addition to the storytime shelf.

THE BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN

Seasons and senses and bears, oh my!

In a refreshing spin on an old sing-along favorite, Trapani’s bear doesn’t go over the mountain just to see what he can see, but to hear, touch, smell and taste as well. His sensory adventures are humorously cut short when he sees a mama duck nipping and chasing him away, hears a snake hissing in his ear, smells a skunk spraying, feels a porcupine’s quills and has his taste of sweet honey interrupted by a swarm of buzzing bees. Verse by verse, the song’s text introduces the five senses while art depicts the (mis)adventures and also provides a visual representation of the progression of the seasons. By book’s end, winter has arrived, and Bear retreats over the mountain again to his den, leaving readers with the satisfying ending: “And now the bear is snoring, / Snugly in his den.” In case readers are unaware of the tune to the song, backmatter provides the score and verses all on a single page. Throughout, the colorful paintings of the subtly anthropomorphized bear frolicking in his woodland mountain habitat will engage young readers and singers.

A fine addition to the storytime shelf. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61608-510-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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