Dino lovers will be thrilled to spend a spooky holiday with their favorite cast.

DINO-HALLOWEEN

From the Dino-Holidays series

This salute to Halloween joins the author and illustrator’s Dino-Holidays series.

Rollicking rhyming verses describe all the activities that accompany the cooler, longer October nights and falling leaves. The all-dinosaur cast (in an otherwise modern, Western world) pick pumpkins and carve jack-o’-lanterns, play games at the Costume Ball, and do the Monster Mash. A visit to a haunted house strikes fear in the hearts of a few dinos (T. Rex flees), but “the others…know the spooks are just pretend.” This busy spread shows the behind-the-scenes dinos wearing the costumes and animating the scary scenes. The highlights of this outing are choosing a costume and, of, course, the trick-or-treating. In both Wheeler’s text and Gott’s digital illustrations, the dinos have their own personalities, especially poor, indecisive Apatosaurus. While the typical sights of Halloween are here (bats, skeletons, witches, etc.), the scariest is what the Ptero Twins find in their treat bags: toothbrushes! As with the others in this series and with companion series Dino-Sports, this is best suited to an audience who knows their dinosaurs; some of the pictured dinos can be a challenge to match to the text, which often uses nicknames: Pachy, Compy, Diplo, for example.

Dino lovers will be thrilled to spend a spooky holiday with their favorite cast. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5124-0317-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again.

WE'RE GOING ON A GOON HUNT

Hunt for a bear? That’s so yesterday.

On a spooky Halloween night, we’re hunting for…a green GOON. We’re not really scared. Let’s start in a pumpkin patch. We can’t go over or under it, so we’ll just go through it. We’ll do the same in other likely goon hideouts: a swamp, a tunnel, a forest, a graveyard, and, finally, a haunted house. In this atmospheric “petrifying parody” of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a dad and his four kids, dressed in Halloween finery and accompanied by their costumed pup, search for the elusive quarry. They become more frightened (particularly dad and pooch, even from the outset) as they proceed along the increasingly murky path—except for the youngest, unicorn-outfitted child, who squeals a delighted welcome to whatever creature unexpectedly materializes. As in the classic original, evocative sound effects (“Gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss!”) ring out as the quintet moves through each hazard. Unsurprisingly, the group locates the goon, forcing them to retrace their steps home in a frenzied hurry, odd noises and all. They reach safety to discover…uh-oh! Meanwhile, someone’s missing but having a ball! Even readers who’ve never read or heard about the bear expedition will appreciate this clever, comical, fast-paced take. The colorful line illustrations are humorously brooding and sweetly endearing, with the family (all members present White) portrayed as growing steadily apprehensive. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 74.6% of actual size.)

Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984813-62-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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