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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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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Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace.

SLUG IN LOVE

A slug longs for a hug and finds it unexpectedly.

Doug the slug would really like a hug and plods on, seeking affection. But a caterpillar, bug, spider, and worm want no part of hugging a slug. They are just not feeling it (might they feel sluggish?), voicing their disdain in no uncertain terms with expressions like, “Grimy, slippy!” and “Squelchy, slimy!” What’s a slug to do? Undeterred, Doug keeps trying. He meets Gail, a snail with crimson lipstick and hip, red glasses; she happens to be as grimy and squelchy as he is, so he figures she is the hugger of his dreams. The two embark upon a madcap romantic courtship. Alas, Gail also draws the (slimy) line at hugging Doug. Finally, mournful Doug meets the best hugger and the true love of his life, proving there’s someone for everyone. This charmer will have readers rooting for Doug (and perhaps even wanting to hug him). Expressed in simple, jaunty verses that read and scan smoothly, the brief tale revolves around words that mainly rhyme with Doug and slug. Given that the story stretches vocabulary so well with regard to rhyming words, children can be challenged after a read-aloud session to offer up words that rhyme with slug and snail. The colorful and humorous illustrations are lively and cheerful; googly-eyed Doug is, like the other characters, entertaining and expressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-046-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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