This will certainly have readers yearning for pet days at their own schools.

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TAKE YOUR PET TO SCHOOL DAY

Devious pets change the school rule that bans them and experience a day of chaos and animal love.

The opening spread shows a child holding a letter stating pets will be welcome at school on Friday in one hand, a hedgehog in the other. Turn the page, and every student is arriving with an animal in tow (what about those without pets?). After each class with the animals, the teachers declare the rule change a disaster. Indeed, chaos reigns in the music room, the library, and the art studio. The principal, a brown-skinned woman with short, dark hair, agrees—she didn’t do it. But then, who did? “Meeoowww.” A neatly printed letter reads: “We do not like your ‘No Pets’ rule. / We miss our kids when they’re at school.” The note is signed “Pets.” The hopeful, pleading faces of the kids win the day—as long as the pets clean up their messes and behave—and the day is a success. But that doesn’t mean the pets’ plan to declare that every day be pet day will fly! Ashman’s verses are bouncy, and Kaufman’s brightly colored artwork will have readers poring over the details in her busy scenes and laughing at all the mischief. The people and their pets are diverse, especially the latter, which include an entire ant farm pulled in a red wagon, a hamster in a ball, a large snake, and a horse.

This will certainly have readers yearning for pet days at their own schools. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6559-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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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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