Loving—but a bit puzzling.


A birthday tribute from mother to child.

Second-person point of view aligns readers with the direct address to “you” as a maternal voice recalls pregnancy, the birth of her child, and early childhood milestones, then anticipates the future. Opening and closing illustrations of an unmentioned, semianthropomorphic cat and dog detract from the interaction of words and pictures, since their relationship to the narrative is unclear. The opening text reads, “Once a year, / every year, a special day comes around.” Readers may wonder why the illustrations accompanying those lines are of a cat holding a candle and then a dog scratching its ear. In the third spread, however, a picture of a full-term fetus curled up against a womblike, rounded background plainly evokes the text’s statement about “wondering when you were going to come out of my tummy.” Other spreads feature the baby (who, like its mother, has dark hair and peachy skin) at various stages of development: nursing, learning to crawl, and then walking and running. Spare text, translated from Japanese, is loving and celebratory, while soft illustrations with minimal backgrounds provide an ideal aesthetic match. When the text shifts from concrete representations of the baby’s development to say “One day you will fly away,” the art offers a literal interpretation and shows the child flying against a blue background, which seems out of step with the real-world mother and child depiction.

Loving—but a bit puzzling. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-940842-20-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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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 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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


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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