A delicious outing for one and all.

THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE AT THE ZOO

From the Gingerbread Man series

Back for a fourth adventure, this smart cookie cavorts across the zoo, where many animals are ready for a nibble.

The Gingerbread Man’s class is on a field trip. The teacher has prepared a scavenger hunt of riddles to lead them to many different animals in the zoo. The first one poses: “I’m spotted. I’m gentle. / I’m tall as a tree. A branch full of leaves is / the best snack for me. / I have a new baby, / and she is my calf.” “AH-HA!” the class shouts; the answer is…(dramatic page turn included)…“GIRAFFE!” But just when the Gingerbread Man is about to read the next clue, the giraffe’s long tongue curls around him and lifts him up for a quick munch. The class goes on ahead, leaving the cookie in peril. Luckily he escapes, but the class is long gone. He must answer the rest of the riddles in order to find them. Alas, Murray only includes two more full riddles for readers to guess (plus an extra, non–zoo-related one at the end), but he does mention the many animals that the Gingerbread Man finds…even a certain sly fox, which the cookie instinctively knows to avoid. Lowery has always been careful to incorporate many races and ethnicities; this adventure does not stray from that practice.

A delicious outing for one and all. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16867-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

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CREEPY CARROTS!

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Uplifting and inspiring of further research.

SEÑORITA MARIPOSA

A bilingual love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that journey south to Mexico every year.

From a chrysalis on the title page, Señorita Mariposa invites readers to follow the monarch butterfly as it embarks on a journey spanning thousands of miles, “Over mountains capped with snow… / To the deserts down below.” In the same manner, the monarch butterfly exiting the chrysalis at the end of the book then invites readers to flip back to the beginning and restart the journey. Almada Rivero’s warm and friendly illustrations showcase the various people and animals the monarch encounters in its 3,000-mile journey, including a couple of brown-skinned children who welcome Señorita Mariposa to Mexico as the text reads, “Can’t believe how far you’ve come.” Gundersheimer’s recounting of the lepidoptera’s journey is told in a bilingual poem, English set in a serif type and Spanish set in sans-serif. Like the butterfly traveling south and north, the languages switch prominence, displaying in the larger font the principal—and rhyming—language in each spread. Although at times distracting, this technique is a valiant attempt to give equal importance to each language. Backmatter includes facts on the round trip the butterflies undertake, the “super generation” that makes the trek south, and a call to action to protect the monarchs as they slowly lose their habitats.

Uplifting and inspiring of further research. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4070-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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