Lovers of all things repellent can consider this a sparkly, smelly present.

READ REVIEW

WHEN UNICORNS POOP

It’s hard to ignore bodily functions when they come with magical properties.

Ever wondered what unicorn poop is really like? No? For readers who have, a wide array of tears, snot, vomit, and other sundry yet sparkly effluents are stuffed into a single solitary tome. Following a predictable gross-then-adorable pattern, the text treats readers to answers to questions they probably never imagined asking: about what happens when a unicorn happens to sneeze (sparkly glitter falls from the sky), spit (chocolate syrup is sprayed on sundaes), fart (bubbles!), etc. The author, who self-identifies as a “recreational cryptozoologist,” does at least hold back on speculating on unicorn blood, urine, and pus, but this is small comfort when faced with the image of children of different skin tones frolicking in unicorn vomit (ribbons). Brightly colored, festive art does much to mitigate some of the book’s more stomach-turning implications, but when it comes to rainbow-colored poop, there’s only so much that one can do. Readers in the thrall of the disgusting will be rapt as they consider the implications of each new revelation. Readers looking for another cute unicorn book are probably best advised to avoid this one, though the mere presence of the sparkly beast may overcome all.

Lovers of all things repellent can consider this a sparkly, smelly present. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6712-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Running Press

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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