Davis’s (Who Hoots?, not reviewed, etc.) story has a bad case of the fidgets, which won’t go far in curing any youngster’s willies, but if nothing else, maybe the ants it drops in the pants of its readers will take their mind off their groundless fears. A little girl is scared stiff of the neighborhood dog (“There’s Ono. That’s not his real name. I call him that because every time I see him I say, ‘Oh, no!’ ”), and the creepy monsters in the hedge, and the snakes slithering out from under the door of her closet. Stopgap measures are all she has devised to handle these fears—bolting from the dog, singing a silly song for the monsters, never opening the closet door—until she decides to become a witch, “because witches aren’t afraid of anything.” She cackles, but that’s not enough; she holds her breath until she turns blue (then she remembers witches are green); she puts on long fingernails, but they fall off. She says the magic word—“Please”—and she feels different (though why is a mystery). She confronts the closet: “ ‘Oh, yeah!’ I remembered. ‘I’m a fearless witch!’ ” The snakes turn out to be shoelaces; the monsters turn out to be bushes; the dog is a big cuddlehead. Presto, fears-aren’t-us. Believe that and there’s a bridge you might want to buy. Zany perspectives, asides in balloons, images bleeding out of their frames, colors electric enough to make your teeth sing—but a story line with enough holes in it to drain spaghetti. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-202305-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2001

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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