A quick recap for younger fans of the perennial stop-motion holiday classic.

READ REVIEW

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER POP-UP BOOK

Produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 made-for-TV film, this keepsake pairs a summarized plot to pop-up tableaux fashioned from select stills.

Beginning with the “reindeer games” in which Rudolph—or, more specifically, his cherrylike schnozz—is unmasked, the six spreads layer cut-out figures of the characters in wintry scenes linked by prosaic but easily digestible narrative overviews: “The friends landed on the Island of Misfit Toys. It was filled with toys that no one wanted because they were different, too.” Opening each spread causes the Abominable Snow Monster or some other figure to rear up past the cover edges. That effect is seen at its grandest in the climactic final scene, in which, following Santa’s “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” (“It will be an honor, sir”), sleigh and reindeer arc overhead while elves and Mrs. Santa applaud below. For a more developed and physically durable version of the film’s plotline, a picture-book edition written by Thea Feldman with similar-looking art by Erwin Madrid is available (2014) as is a new reissue of the original story by Robert L. May with more accomplished illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo (2014).

A quick recap for younger fans of the perennial stop-motion holiday classic. (Pop-up picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62686-197-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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Another snowy day book, but not special enough to recall Keats’ masterpiece.

WINTER IS FOR SNOW

A paean to wintertime and especially its snowy weather, this picture book fails to match the achievement of the many others that deal with this popular theme.

The child pictured in the jacket art is an unabashed lover of all things winter, and in rhyming text, he extols the season’s virtues to his curmudgeonly younger sister. Her responses (also rhyming) resist his enthusiastic praise of snowball fights, skating and the beauty of snowflakes “glittering like diamond dust.” Since the book ends up being about her eventual, grudging warming up to wintertime, it’s curious that she doesn’t appear on the cover, and her change of heart seems rather abrupt, reading; “Winter is for all these things? / Is it really so? / Winter might not be so bad. // Winter is for SNOW!” Such pat lines are par for the course in the text, which isn’t so much a story as it is a list. Illustrations show greater achievement, particularly in scenes depicting many characters milling about a snowy city landscape, evoking an animationlike flair.

Another snowy day book, but not special enough to recall Keats’ masterpiece. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7831-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book....

YOU ARE MY PUMPKIN

Young children won't understand the metaphors but will appreciate the sentiment made clear by the repeated, Halloween-themed declarations of love in Wan's latest board book.

Each of the seven spreads presents an endearment illustrated by an object drawn with heavy outlines and just enough detail to invoke its essential characteristics. Lest it become too maudlin, between the “sugary, sweet candy corn” and a “purr-fect, cuddly kitty” is a “wild, messy monster.” Wan manages to make each drawing expressive and distinctive while relying on just a few shapes—crescents or circles for eyes, dots or ovals accenting cheeks. Although each spread stands alone, there are quiet connections. For example, the orange of the pumpkin is repeated in the candy corn, and the purple that adorns kitty's hat and bow becomes the prominent color on the next spread, setting off the friendly white ghost nicely. The same purple is used for the spider's body on the next to last spread. Subtle, shadowed backgrounds repeat the patterns found elsewhere in the book. For example, the background of the page with the kitty includes pumpkins, hearts, and hats and bows like the ones kitty is wearing.

While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-88092-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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