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

READ REVIEW

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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ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed...

TURKEY'S EGGCELLENT EASTER

From the Turkey Trouble series

The fourth entry in the Turkey Trouble series finds Turkey and his animal friends attending a children’s Easter egg hunt at a park next to Turkey’s farm.

Turkey and his pals want to win an “eggstraspecial” prize at the egg hunt, but the event is only for children—not animals. So the group of animal friends decides to attend the egg hunt in disguise and treat their adventure as a “secret mission.” Their disguises include dark glasses and costumes suggesting a rabbit, a bee, and a bunch of daffodils, but each attempt to participate in the egg hunt is rebuffed by the human attendees. The animals work together to create a large, egg-shaped costume for Turkey from a wicker basket, and Turkey and the boy who finds him in egg mode both win special prizes. Turkey shares his prize of a huge, jelly-bean–topped pizza with all his animal buddies. The mildly humorous story has funny animal characters, inventive action, and lots of puns incorporating “egg” into other words. Cartoon-style watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add to the humor with amusing animal expressions and the ongoing series theme of silly costumes. Several of the children at the egg hunt are children of color; the other human characters present white.

Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4037-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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