Not spectacularly innovative but sweet just the same.

READ REVIEW

MAE AND THE MOON

A little girl loves the moon and worries when it disappears.

Mae’s favorite game to play with the moon is hide-and-seek. But suddenly, one night, the moon is gone! Mae looks for it everywhere. Her mom tells her that even the moon needs to rest. But Mae can’t just sit and wait. This petite, pigtailed heroine must do something, so she creates a rocket ship out of a cardboard box. She flies up to space and gratefully hugs her long-lost friend. But when her papa interrupts her imaginary play, Mae looks up to the sky and realizes that the moon really is back. In its crescent shape, it looks like it is smiling at her. Gigot’s picture-book debut is awash with deep, purple-blue nighttime hues and luminous moonlight. The text is placed sparingly on the page. At the climax, when the moon disappears, a full spread of inky, starry blackness heightens the drama. A labeled diagram of the phases of the moon appears at the end (to be covered by pasted library flaps, alas). While it’s hard to imagine that Mae could not have noticed the phases of the moon before this, her attachment nevertheless rings true.

Not spectacularly innovative but sweet just the same. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9913866-2-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Ripple Grove

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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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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