Readers unfamiliar with the TV series may be left scratching their heads, and even for those who are fans, Tiny’s dilemma...

LOOKING FOR A LULLABY

From the Clangers series

A British stop-motion animated series makes the jump across the pond to print.

The TV series, originally broadcast from 1969 to 1972, was resurrected in 2015. The mouselike Clangers live on a planet in outer space also inhabited by mother and baby Soup Dragons and egg-shaped froglets and overseen by Iron Chicken, an amalgamation of washers, nuts, bolts, and other metal parts. (Readers may be reminded of Fraggle Rock.) The Clangers themselves are pink knit creations differentiated by size and by vest and hair color. In this tale, the youngest Clanger, Tiny, “dons her radio hat and makes her nightly bedtime call to Iron Chicken,” asking for her lullaby. (The iron hat looks like a parody of paranoiac headgear.) But something is wrong with the hat tonight, and Tiny can’t sleep without her lullaby. What follows is her attempt to get someone to sing to her, though the quest goes on far too long and inconsistencies crop up—brother Small was asleep but then suddenly is not. In the end, the froglets, Baby Soup Dragon, and Small all convince Tiny that she should sing to them, and the lullaby works like a charm on them all, Tiny included.

Readers unfamiliar with the TV series may be left scratching their heads, and even for those who are fans, Tiny’s dilemma feels overlong. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-54144-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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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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