Jaunty out of the gate—such fun.

THE BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN

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.

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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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

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THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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