The straightforward plot, uncomplicated illustrations, and humorous appearance of the decorated dinosaur dad make this a...

RORY THE DINOSAUR NEEDS A CHRISTMAS TREE

From the Rory the Dinosaur series

A young dinosaur and his dad search their island for a Christmas tree for their holiday celebration.

In this third outing for the little dinosaur, Rory and his group of animal friends are preparing for Christmas Eve. Rory and his dad have decorated their treetop home with Christmas stockings and garland, but they are missing a Christmas tree. The dinosaurs examine several different trees, but nothing on their lush, green island is quite right for their needs. When father and son return home empty-handed, the other animals arrive for a caroling session, followed by a Christmas story and hot cocoa. Rory’s dad surprises his son on Christmas morning by decorating himself as the Christmas tree, complete with glowing lights and a star-shaped hat. There is a jolly celebration and exchange of gifts before a sweet, concluding hug for the dinosaur duo. Digitally produced illustrations use cartoon-style shapes against plain white backgrounds or minimalist scenes of the dinosaur home and island surroundings. Rory and his dad have only tiny dots for their eyes, so they don’t show much expression, and all the characters have a rather flat and posed feel to them. The story is simple but satisfying, with the caring (and frequently used) theme of enjoying the holiday with friends and family.

The straightforward plot, uncomplicated illustrations, and humorous appearance of the decorated dinosaur dad make this a good choice for younger preschoolers. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31523-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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