A joyful celebration of free-range fantasizing.


Imagination takes reality for a grand ride in this Dutch import via Scotland when Charlie and his mother visit a street carnival.

Waiting for his mom to dig his party hat and balloon out of a storage box, Charlie imagines how silly it would be if grown-up bicycle riders needed training wheels, if people rode elephants instead of cars and lived in trees, if the carnival featured lollipop trees, a lemonade river, and a cake as big as the town square. Lo and behold, once he gets his distracted but game parent outside, all of these fantasies turn out to be true—as Törnqvist shows in a series of crowded, exuberant, single and double gatefolds. These open to reveal scenes filled with life and color, extravagantly costumed carnivalgoers, surreal details, and droll side business. Having ridden the elephants, climbed trees, rowed on the pink river, and chowed down on the humongous cake “until Mama’s dress was tight and Charlie’s tummy was full,” the two make their way home at day’s end, and Charlie snuggles into bed, envisioning “candy ladders and gingerbread jackets,” among further wonders on the morrow. Joining carnival crowds diverse in age, dress, and color, Charlie and his stylishly dressed mother (both black-haired) in some scenes look white but in others are depicted with lightly toned skin.

A joyful celebration of free-range fantasizing. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78250-460-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Fast and furious action guaranteed to keep new readers laughing and turning pages.


From the I Like To Read Comics series

Never underestimate the chaotic fun that magic and an angry bouncing ball can create.

When Frog goes to the library, he borrows a book on magic. He then heads to a nearby park to read up on the skills necessary to becoming “a great magician.” Suddenly, a deflated yellow ball lands with a “Thud!” at his feet. Although he flexes his new magician muscles, Frog’s spells fall as flat as the ball. But when Frog shouts “Phooey!” and kicks the ball away, it inflates to become a big, angry ball. The ball begins to chase Frog, so he seeks shelter in the library—and Frog and ball turn the library’s usual calm into chaos. The cartoon chase crescendos. The ball bounces into the middle of a game of chess, interrupts a puppet show, and crashes into walls and bookcases. Staying just one bounce ahead, Frog runs, hides, grabs a ride on a book cart, and scatters books and papers as he slides across the library furniture before an alligator patron catches the ball and kicks it out the library door. But that’s not the end of the ball….Caple’s tidy panels and pastel-hued cartoons make a surprisingly effective setting for the slapstick, which should have young readers giggling. Simple sentences—often just subject and verb—with lots of repetition propel the action. Frog’s nonsense-word spells (“Poof Wiffle, Bop Bip!”) are both funny and excellent practice in phonetics. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fast and furious action guaranteed to keep new readers laughing and turning pages. (Graphic early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4341-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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A pinktypical bit of problem-solving with a holiday theme.


Pinkalicious turns a “Secret Snowman” gift from fashion disaster to fab in this easy reader outing.

Joining a recent spate of holiday celebrations that never actually mention a specific holiday, the episode begins when Pinkalicious pulls classmate Molly’s name from the bowl at school and decides to knit her a “pinkamazing” sweater. Unfortunately, the project is beyond Pinkalicious’ knitting powers, and the finished result is a sad mess. What to do? Enter Dad, on his way to an “ugly holiday sweater party” at work…and the next day Molly is delightedly modeling a sweater so encrusted with garland, pompoms, candy, and small ornaments that the ragged original is transformed. In no time Pinkalicious is teaching the entire class, including Ms. Penny, the teacher, how to knit and decorate holiday scarves and other small projects because: “ ’Tis the season to make everything sparklerrific!” In similarly oblique visual nods to certain December festivities, the sedate, finely detailed illustrations feature a gaudy evergreen on Dad’s sweater and a brown-skinned classmate knitting, and then rocking, a red, green, and black scarf. Pinkalicious presents as White (as do Ms. Penny, Mom, Dad, and brother Peter), Molly presents as Black, and the class is racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pinktypical bit of problem-solving with a holiday theme. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-300388-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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