Brief—but surprisingly useful, and adorable to boot.

BUNDLE UP

A cute, purple hippo models winterwear in a variety of colors and makes a snowman an offer it can’t refuse.

This sweet and simple board book engages children on several levels, first by introducing colors and various winter garments, then by encouraging them to review those colors—reading them, if they’re able—and count the number of instances of each. Not bad, given the deceptively simple narrative. The book opens with the unnamed pachyderm protagonist at the window, watching the snow fall. A series of two-panel spreads follows, text on verso, illustration on recto. “Where are my yellow mittens?” asks the hippo with a puzzled look on its face. The question is answered with a turn of the page: “Here are my yellow mittens,” the hippo announces, forefeet snugly fitted inside the protective handgear in question. The rest of the book follows suit, with a green scarf, a red coat, and a blue hat. The charming illustrations of the toddler hippo, buried beneath preposterously thick layerings of scarf on one page or eyes obscured by an impossibly floppy hat on another, should provoke happy giggles. Once bundled, the little hippo runs outside and exchanges all that winter gear with a snowman, making off with its yummy “orange” carrot nose. The final two pages review the colors, spelled out letter by letter, and the names of the pictured items (gloves, scarves, carrots, etc.) and invite readers to count how many times each appears.

Brief—but surprisingly useful, and adorable to boot. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-53411-002-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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LLAMA LLAMA TRICK OR TREAT

From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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