A simple counting tale with a revolutionary style.

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 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021


Delightful and engaging.

Preschoolers can follow a little brown mouse on its traveling adventures in this engaging color concept book.

As the book starts, a little mouse can be seen packing up her equally itty-bitty suitcase. Rhyming text with a wonderful read-aloud rhythm introduces readers to the little mouse’s street: “Red house / Blue house / Green house / Tree house! / See the tiny mouse / in her little brown house?” Clean-lined, colorful illustrations in Gómez’s signature style lead readers along: into a flower-filled garden; on a ride on a red city bus; in a potted windowsill plant attended by a child; on the curb where a group of people wait to cross a street; in an underwater scene with “one gigantic whale!”; and on a jolly ride that employs a string of vehicles. The little mouse is not mentioned again, making it easy for readers to forget it as they get caught up in the myriad delightful details of each illustration. No problem there. The book ends with “and did you spot that mouse?” This should send children back to the beginning, this time in earnest search of the little mouse and her itty-bitty suitcase. Should children need further enticement to read the book again, travel patches on the endpapers invite readers to match them to the relevant part in the story. The people depicted are diverse both racially as well as in physical ability.

Delightful and engaging. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55381-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019


This endearing fairy-tale retelling will bring joy to literary-themed storytimes.

Rather than walking through the forest with delicious pastries for grandma, this Little Red is a poet with endless rhymes.

In this fractured retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood,” a little girl with light-brown skin and long, black hair is bullied for speaking exclusively in rhyme: “Want to ride the swings with me? / Race our bikes or climb a tree?” The other children find this strange, especially Big Brad Wolf, a light-skinned, chinless boy with blue eyes and a shock of brown hair who takes to teasing the girl known as Little Red Rhyming Hood. She puts on a brave face with lines like: “You don’t bother me, Big Brad / Nasty words won’t make me sad.” In reality, she is affected by his bullying. When Big Brad scares the rhyme right out of Little Red and into him, the two must find a way to work together to write a poem for Little Red’s poetry contest. In Bouloubasis’ bold and bright illustrations, the stylized characters come to life, especially Little Red with her charming personality and tough exterior. This refreshing take on a classic fairy tale touches lightly on the subject of bullying; even though Brad’s quick reformation into a poet seems too good to be true, this is an enjoyable picture book nonetheless.

This endearing fairy-tale retelling will bring joy to literary-themed storytimes. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-4597-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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