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LITTLE WOLF'S FIRST HOWLING

Visually lovely and sure to be a read-aloud hit; put on some Ella Fitzgerald, too.

A wolf pup tries out his howling technique in this picture book.

Little Wolf is excited to be accompanying his father, Big Wolf, to the top of the hill for his first howling. As the full moon rises, Little Wolf is raring to try, but his father holds him back, telling him he will first “demonstrate proper howling form.” When it’s Little Wolf’s turn, he begins properly, but then creative exuberance (humorously rendered with a superabundance of A’s and O’s, increasingly punctuated by scat syllables) takes over, and no matter how many times Big Wolf patiently demonstrates proper technique, Little Wolf can’t help adding his own spin. Even Big Wolf’s gentle disapproval can’t dampen Little Wolf’s ardor. Eventually of course, Big Wolf comes around to see it from Little Wolf’s point of view, and the story ends with the two wolves, father and pup, howling with gusto in very improper howling form. Kvasnosky’s story celebrates all that is fresh and original in the creative spirit of children, and her text will be great fun as a read-aloud, especially after some practice. Kvasnosky and McGee’s collaborative illustrations are done in gouache resist with digital colorization, a striking technique that particularly emphasizes the black night and the bright moonlight. All double-page spreads, the illustrations successfully evoke the vast beauty of the country the wolves inhabit.

Visually lovely and sure to be a read-aloud hit; put on some Ella Fitzgerald, too. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8971-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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