This is a solid choice for sensitive readers, since it provides an alternate, if somewhat sweet story, where ghosts are...

MY FIRST GHOST

Ever wanted a ghost? Answer in the affirmative, and this fictional handbook should offer all the expert advice needed to make sure “your ghost will haunt you forever.”

The opening page warns: “A ghost is a big responsibility. Are you sure you want a ghost friend of your very own? If not, CLOSE THIS BOOK NOW.” For those brave, committed few, the page turn reveals a wash of white issuing forth from a child’s book to create a friendly, smiling ghost. The text continues to read like a combination sales pitch and owner’s manual. Ghosts are better than a pet or a brother or sister. Ghosts are afraid of parents, the dark and other ghosts. Ghosts never get dirty, so do not try to wash them. As the instructions continue, Buscema’s brightly hued, retro-style illustrations inject lighthearted humor, portraying a diverse cast of kids dedicated to providing the best care to their new specters. Who knew that when a person shivers and it is not cold, it means they have bumped into a ghost?

This is a solid choice for sensitive readers, since it provides an alternate, if somewhat sweet story, where ghosts are anything but scary. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1949-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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