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MAISY PLAYS SOCCER

From the Maisy First Experiences series

Goooooooooal! (Picture book. 2-6)

As she did for fairy tales in Yummy (2009), Cousins distills the world’s most popular sport down to its most essential elements for the small fry.

The Maisy First Experiences series continues with this entry into the world of toddler sports. Maisy and her cadre of faithful friends (Cyril, Eddie, Talullah, etc.) are ready to play a soccer game. Dividing themselves up into two teams of three, they have a lot of fun stretching, kicking and passing the ball to teammates. Halftime involves healthy snacks and swigs from water bottles, and then it’s back onto the field. Naturally, the game ends in a tie, with spectators cheering both sides on in turn. Cousins does a good job of explaining potentially difficult facts, such as the concept of opposing teams or the role of the goalie. The good-natured tenor of the book emphasizes the fun to be had in a sport rather than the competitive drive. Further appealing to younger kids is her use of onomatopoeia (a kicked ball makes a “FOUMPHHH!” noise while a sharp “BOUF!” indicates a goal). This is not the only introductory book on soccer for very young children, but it is one kids will actually want to read on their own.

Goooooooooal! (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7228-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening....

A graceful bedtime story celebrates the beauty found in night.

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening. Hedgehog snuffles for mushrooms. Turtle hides in her shell as fireflies dot the sky. But try as he might, Little Owl cannot wake Bear inside the Grumbly Cave. He snores soundly. But what if the bear has never seen stars? As morning draws near, Little Owl settles in on his branch and whispers softly to his mother, “[T]ell me again how night ends.” “Spiderwebs turn to silver threads,” she begins. “The sky brightens from black to blue, blue to red, red to gold.” But Little Owl does not hear. His wide, innocent green eyes have already shut tight. Srinivasan’s picture-book debut beckons readers to follow this curiously adorable creature through the sky. The moon and stars illuminate the dark background, and a flat palette of black, greens and browns blankets the forest in quiet stillness. More lyrical than linear, the story flits from one animal to the next. But readers won’t mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01295-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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