A simple counting tale with a revolutionary style.

INTERGALACTIC MOVING DAY

Celebrate the annual countdown to a new planet!

“On my planet the last day of every year is Intergalactic Moving Day!” declares a big-eyed, blue-skinned youth in a military-style uniform. “On this day our planet fizzles out / And a new one blooms and shines bright in the sky.” Their family hops into their Space Pod and prepares to launch…which involves a lot of packing, represented as a countdown. “10 / I always remember to pack my robot” is followed by “9 / And my favorite snacks!” (including Rocket Snax and Galaxy Juice). The youngster makes sure not to forget their lucky caps and Dad’s baseball gloves, Mom’s books (and wrestling trophies). Then it’s out of the pod for one more photo on the old planet, then they blast off for the new planet. “After the stardust settles we sit back and take in the glowing glimmer of our new home planet,” the narrator concludes. Illustrator Malta brings the punk-inspired style fans of his adult work will recognize to this foray into picture books. This is a much-toned-down version of his magazine and comic work for big people, drawn with the same heavy lines, pupil-less eyes, and bold, dark colors. There’s little like this on your picture-book shelves; fittingly set on an alien planet, this is a hip, skater-style book that will appeal to some but not all. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A simple counting tale with a revolutionary style. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-57687-995-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard.

THE WIND PLAYS TRICKS

When a fierce wind descends on the barnyard, the animals hear some odd noises…and they’re coming from their own mouths.

The sudden wind unsettles all the animals on the farm just when they should be getting ready for sleep. Instead, they anxiously “cheep” and “cluck” and “oink” and “quack” and “moooo.” They shift nervously, pull together, and make all sorts of noises. All except Turtle, who tucks into his shell under an old log and sleeps. In the morning, though, the animals get a surprise. Pig says, “Cluck”; the Little Chicks say, “Neigh”; Horse crows, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” How will they get their proper sounds back? Turtle has an idea, and he enjoys the process so much that he decides to open his mouth the next time the wind plays tricks at the farm: Perhaps he’ll catch a sound all his own. Chua’s cartoon barnyard is bright, and her animals, expressive, their faces and body language slightly anthropomorphized. The edges of the figures sometimes betray their digital origins. Though the tale is humorous and will give lots of opportunity for practicing animal sounds, the audience is hard to pin down, as the young children sure to enjoy mooing and clucking may not have the patience to sit through the somewhat lengthy text.

For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8735-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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Charming Easter fun.

PETER EASTER FROG

You may know the Easter Bunny, but get ready to meet Peter Easter Frog!

Peter loves Easter, and he’s not going to let the fact that he’s a frog and not a bunny stop him, especially when he’s so good at hopping! He looks absolutely delighted to be hopping around delivering Easter eggs. As he hops along, so does a repeated refrain, which always begins with two words ending with “-ity” coupled with “Easter’s on its—” (“Squishity, squashity, Easter’s on its—”; “Yippity, yappity, Easter’s on its—”); each page turn playfully upends the expected conclusion of the line. Karas’ cheery art portrays a growing array of animals: a turtle decked out in lipstick and a spiffy Easter bonnet, a cow with flower choker necklace, and a sheepdog and a chipmunk sans finery. As Peter gives out colorful, patterned Easter eggs to the other animals, they are, at first, shocked to see an Easter frog but soon join him in his charitable mission to spread Easter cheer. The moment when the cow responds to the dog’s challenge that she is not a cow-bunny by pointing out its own breed as a “sheepdog” may elicit laughs, especially from adult readers. When the group finally meets the real Easter Bunny—hilariously, at the end of a dark tunnel—it seems that things may go awry, but all ends hoppily, happily, and inclusively. The text does not use dialogue tags, instead setting narration and dialogue in separate, distinctive typefaces; unfortunately, this design is not consistently applied, which may confuse readers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 26.8% of actual size.)

Charming Easter fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6489-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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