A slight magical tale whose illustrations can't quite compensate for the weak story.

READ REVIEW

NIGHT OF THE WHITE DEER

Some say the white deer’s a star, and others say she's made of spilled milk. Could she be real?

A modern farm boy sees a white deer in their field. His brother says it’s only legend, but the boy sees the deer again. This time he walks into the fields and leaps into the Aurora-lit sky with his mysterious white companion. The boy feels the magic of the flight, and they encounter deer of several species and widely varying colors at play in the fields of night. The boy contemplates a trip through the solar system, but his deer takes him home. When the boy tells his family of his journey, his brother’s certain it was a dream. Left alone with his father, the boy learns his dad had a similar adventure as a child…and Dad wants to go along should the white deer return. Bushnell's fourth is an original tale told as a quasi-folk tale. Unlike traditional tales though, no mystery of nature is explained, caution offered or quest fulfilled. A traditional-feeling tale from no tradition and with no specific moral is rather like a chicken without bones. That said, it’s a pleasant-enough fable, and newcomer Co’s bright and burnished illustrations enhance both magical and natural aspects, bringing to mind the works of David Diaz.

A slight magical tale whose illustrations can't quite compensate for the weak story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-933718-80-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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