Jaunty out of the gate—such fun.


From the Jane Cabrera's Story Time series

The Bear is only the first one over this mountain.

As in the rhyme of old, on a bright, sunny day, a little brown “Bear [goes] over the mountain,” where all he sees is the other side of the landmass…but he then gets stuck up a tree. “The Hare hop[s] over the mountain” next, “to see where Bear could be.” And on the other side of the mountain, Hare helps Bear out of the tree. The Fox follows, “danc[ing] over the mountain” in search of Hare. When he gets to the other side, he prepares a tea party for three. “The Wolf [runs] over the mountain” looking for Fox, and they all have a swim together. “The Owl swoop[s] over the mountain” hoping to find Wolf, and when Owl gets there, “they ha[ve] a Jamboree” under the now-starry sky. The illustrations shift from the scenes of outdoor play to the interior of a pine-tree–wallpapered home, where a curly-headed White child “cre[eps] over the mountain” (up the stairs) “to see where they could be.” Upon the page turn, the child finds all five animals (stuffies all) ready for a snuggle in bed. With this outing, Cabrera has once again made a traditional kid’s song into a storytime pleaser. It won’t take even one full read-through for kids to be singing along, and when they see themselves in the sweet twist at the close, they’ll likely giggle with glee. Her acrylic paintings are, as usual, lush and lovely.

Jaunty out of the gate—such fun. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4653-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


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.


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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