After this test of his tracking and capturing skills, what will the Gingerbread Man tackle next? (Picture book. 4-8)

THE GINGERBREAD MAN AND THE LEPRECHAUN LOOSE AT SCHOOL

Murray and Lowery’s cookie main character is back, this time doing his best to foil a March prankster.

“FO-FIDDLEY-FEE! / You can’t catch me! / For I’m on a leprechaun / mess-making spree!” With this announcement, the tiny, green-suited imp dashes away, a trail of shamrocks in his wake. He also leaves notes on green paper: clues that the Gingerbread Man helps the kids decode and that lead the class on a hunt for the mischief-maker. Together they put the music room to rights, but then the kids head to lunch, and the cookie takes up the hunt alone. The leprechaun’s next target is the library, where he accidentally leaves his hat. The Gingerbread Man beats the leprechaun to his next target and sets a clever Rube Golberg–esque trap. Trading the hat for a mess-free school, the Gingerbread Man saves the day. Lowery’s artwork—pencil, screen printing, and digital color—combines full-page illustrations with comic-style panels. While the boxed text and speech balloons are easy to read and follow on the page, not all the pictures are as simple to parse, though there are humorous details that will tickle readers. The class is a diverse one with a white female teacher (wearing glasses, natch), but none of the humans have personalities.

After this test of his tracking and capturing skills, what will the Gingerbread Man tackle next? (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-99694-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers.

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How to Catch… series

The bestselling series (How to Catch an Elf, 2016, etc.) about capturing mythical creatures continues with a story about various ways to catch the Easter Bunny as it makes its annual deliveries.

The bunny narrates its own story in rhyming text, beginning with an introduction at its office in a manufacturing facility that creates Easter eggs and candy. The rabbit then abruptly takes off on its delivery route with a tiny basket of eggs strapped to its back, immediately encountering a trap with carrots and a box propped up with a stick. The narrative focuses on how the Easter Bunny avoids increasingly complex traps set up to catch him with no explanation as to who has set the traps or why. These traps include an underground tunnel, a fluorescent dance floor with a hidden pit of carrots, a robot bunny, pirates on an island, and a cannon that shoots candy fish, as well as some sort of locked, hazardous site with radiation danger. Readers of previous books in the series will understand the premise, but others will be confused by the rabbit’s frenetic escapades. Cartoon-style illustrations have a 1960s vibe, with a slightly scary, bow-tied bunny with chartreuse eyes and a glowing palette of neon shades that shout for attention.

This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3817-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will...

HOW TO SCARE A GHOST

From the How To... series

Reagan and Wildish continue their How to… series with this Halloween-themed title.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to scare a ghost, this handbook is what you need. In it, a pair of siblings shows readers “how to attract a ghost” (they like creepily carved pumpkins and glitter), identify a ghost (real ghosts “never, ever open doors”), and scare a ghost (making faces, telling scary stories). Also included is a warning not to go too far—a vacuum is over-the-top on the scary chart for ghosts. Once you’ve calmed your ghost again, it’s time to play (just not hide-and-seek or on a trampoline) and then decide on costumes for trick-or-treating. Your ghost will also need to learn Halloween etiquette (knocking instead of floating through doors). The title seems a little misleading considering only two spreads are dedicated to trying to scare a ghost, but the package as a whole is entertaining. Wildish’s digital cartoon illustrations are as bright as ever, and the brother and sister duo have especially expressive faces. Both are white-presenting, as are all the other characters except for some kids in the very last spread.

The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will be clean from all the vacuuming. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0190-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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