Though well-intentioned and decently executed, nothing new or exciting lies within.

I WILL KEEP YOU SAFE AND SOUND

Spare text in rhyming couplets and a soothing refrain provide young readers with a cozy glimpse of animal babies and their parents enjoying their natural habitats.

Houran chooses language that describes the scene in a succinct but quiet manner: “Gators in the shade / While the sun burns high / Squirrels in the log / While the hawk sails by / Dolphins in the cove / While the wild waves pound / I will keep you safe and sound.” Brown bears, rabbits, robins, beavers and ponies complete the cast of creatures featured in Brown’s soft-hued watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations. Each spread features a full-bleed picture on the left paired with a spot illustration and the text on the right. Only the ending offers a slight break from this pattern as a lost kitten (after a slightly dramatic page turn) quickly reunites with its mother under the glowing full moon. The design and flow seem best suited for the very young—the most likely audience to be charmed by the singsong cadence and the relative sweetness of the title.

Though well-intentioned and decently executed, nothing new or exciting lies within. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-19751-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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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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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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