Among the featured creatures are a robot, a superhero and a witch in the interior and a mummy on the cover. The characters...

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GUESS WHO?

A POP-UP MASK BOOK!

With die-cut holes for eyes and handles, readers can hold this board book, in its open state, up to their faces to create a variety of costumed personas.

Among the featured creatures are a robot, a superhero and a witch in the interior and a mummy on the cover. The characters are given a couple of lines of dialogue to announce their identities and make their signature sounds or statements: “I’m a proud pirate! / Ahoy there!” Each face has one rather delicate pop-up facial feature or accessory, such as the witch’s protruding nose and the superhero’s mask, which will likely not withstand extensive, rambunctious play. Ho’s cheery, smiling cartoons in bold colors imbue the title with a lively energy. While the cover does portray a spooky spider and an orange-and-black color scheme, this title could easily stretch beyond the Halloween season.

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-49331-4

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Not as great a gift as it thinks it is.

DON'T SHAKE THE PRESENT!

The concept is familiar: a board book that invites applike interaction.

Speaking directly to readers, Larry, a bulbous, purple monster with one tooth, tiny purple horns, and large, expressive eyes, explains, “This is my present. I REALLY want to open it, but I’m not supposed to yet.” The appearance of Santa on the last page confirms that the green package with its large red bow is a Christmas gift. Spoiler alert: The box is merely a decoy. The “real present” is “something you’re always allowed to open: THIS BOOK!” In between, young readers are invited to shake the present to make it shrink, shake it up and down to stretch it tall, and shake it side to side to enlarge it to the margins of the spread. Children accustomed to enlarging pictures on a screen or tablet will understand the instruction to “SHRINK the present with your fingers” but will lose interest when nothing changes until the page is turned. The most successful interactions are when Larry “accidentally” pulls on the ribbons, but even that result—Larry is sucked into the box and expelled, screaming, “AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” with a “BOING” and a “DOINK”—remains disappointingly static. Children used to instantaneous responses or those who’ve experienced the brilliant simplicity of Press Here will not be amused.

Not as great a gift as it thinks it is. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-9166-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Undemanding and upbeat, this is an adequate offering to share with toddlers in households that want to keep the Christ in...

GOD BLESS OUR CHRISTMAS

Rhyming, four-line stanzas celebrate Christmas in both secular and religious aspects.

A bevy of animals, presumably polar and mostly white with the occasional red scarf or cap, romp in the snow and generally exude Christmas cheer. Snowshoe hares watch a white mouse hang red baubles from an exposed fir bough; a husky family drags a sled out to fetch a tree; harp seals play on the floes. A family of polar bears quaffs hot cocoa inside an igloo; Arctic foxes decorate cookies; penguins (presumably visiting from Antarctica) decorate a snowy tree. Whitlow’s illustrations employ a palette of icy blues, with red and green accents; his soft-focus animals all smile benignly. The frolicking mice that appear in every spread add visual interest. Hall’s quatrains, written with an abab rhyme scheme, are generously punctuated with exclamation marks and are sugar-cookie sweet. The rhyme and meter are occasionally forced and relentlessly singsong, in keeping with the overall tone. God is explicitly part of this celebration, sending snow and cheer as well as the gift of the baby Jesus. Given the religious underpinnings of the book, it’s a pity there is not just a touch more gravitas to balance out the sweetness.

Undemanding and upbeat, this is an adequate offering to share with toddlers in households that want to keep the Christ in Christmas . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4003-2399-9

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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