Colorful Brown Bear is a lovely addition to a handsome series, but give Stripy Tiger a pass.

READ REVIEW

JANE FOSTER'S BROWN BEAR COLOR BOOK

Readers explore a rainbow of colors as they search for the titular bear.

On the left-hand page, the color in question is stated at the top of the page in an oversize font. Below, some short lines of text list the animals or objects toddlers can hunt for, always culminating with the question: “Where is Brown Bear?” On the right-hand side of each spread, little ones can pore over Foster’s stylized renderings of seven objects in the hue in question, all done in thick black lines and inviting patterns. A die-cut circle frames Brown Bear’s face at the center of the page, growing bigger with each page-turn. On the final page, the text reads: “Here is Brown Bear with all his favorite colors. Can you name them?” A cuddly bear is surrounded by three flowers, one of which is formed from the concentric, die-cut circles in rainbow hues. The less-successful companion title, Jane Foster’s Stripy Tiger Pattern Book, features the stylized tiger that appeared on the orange spread of the first book in each of the double-page scenes dizzyingly bedazzled by stripes, squares, swirls, stars, and more. Those readers who do not find the addition of a teepee on the triangle spread inappropriate for reasons of cultural appropriation may objects to its geometric label, as it is more conical in shape than triangular. Tabbed pages let little ones quickly turn to their favorite patterns.

Colorful Brown Bear is a lovely addition to a handsome series, but give Stripy Tiger a pass. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0330-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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