A bright new addition to the Halloween shelves.

SHIVERY SHADES OF HALLOWEEN

Anyone who thought the colors of Halloween were limited to orange and black is obviously mistaken.

“What color is Halloween?” is the question posed to readers when they open this book. The clue is in the brightly hued letters in the word “color.” Each double-page spread features a new color paired with pithy rhyming verse that dramatically describes it. “Halloween is green. // Eerie glow, / Evil grin, / Vile brew, / Clammy skin.” Before the text moves on to the next shade, a nonsensical rhyming phrase sums it up: “Slimy-grimy, queasy-peasy, snotty-rotty / Tinge of green.” Siddals is consistent with the structure, frequently creating chuckle-inducing combinations, while Pickering employs his cinematic talents to make the cast of characters friendly and appealing in a Pixar-like way for young readers. The concept title closes with an impressive spell—the result of taking the last line of each spread and listing them together. “Blaze of orange, / Stain of red, / Blot of black, / Smudge of brown, / Glint of yellow, / Wash of blue, / Shroud of gray, / Wisp of white, / Blotch of purple, / Tinge of green— // Shivery shades of HALLOWEEN!”

A bright new addition to the Halloween shelves. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-36999-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers.

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How to Catch… series

The bestselling series (How to Catch an Elf, 2016, etc.) about capturing mythical creatures continues with a story about various ways to catch the Easter Bunny as it makes its annual deliveries.

The bunny narrates its own story in rhyming text, beginning with an introduction at its office in a manufacturing facility that creates Easter eggs and candy. The rabbit then abruptly takes off on its delivery route with a tiny basket of eggs strapped to its back, immediately encountering a trap with carrots and a box propped up with a stick. The narrative focuses on how the Easter Bunny avoids increasingly complex traps set up to catch him with no explanation as to who has set the traps or why. These traps include an underground tunnel, a fluorescent dance floor with a hidden pit of carrots, a robot bunny, pirates on an island, and a cannon that shoots candy fish, as well as some sort of locked, hazardous site with radiation danger. Readers of previous books in the series will understand the premise, but others will be confused by the rabbit’s frenetic escapades. Cartoon-style illustrations have a 1960s vibe, with a slightly scary, bow-tied bunny with chartreuse eyes and a glowing palette of neon shades that shout for attention.

This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3817-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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THIS BOOK IS GRAY

A gray character tries to write an all-gray book.

The six primary and secondary colors are building a rainbow, each contributing the hue of their own body, and Gray feels forlorn and left out because rainbows contain no gray. So Gray—who, like the other characters, has a solid, triangular body, a doodle-style face, and stick limbs—sets off alone to create “the GRAYest book ever.” His book inside a book shows a peaceful gray cliff house near a gray sea with gentle whitecaps; his three gray characters—hippo, wolf, kitten—wait for their arc to begin. But then the primaries arrive and call the gray scene “dismal, bleak, and gloomy.” The secondaries show up too, and soon everyone’s overrunning Gray’s creation. When Gray refuses to let White and Black participate, astute readers will note the flaw: White and black (the colors) had already been included in the early all-gray spreads. Ironically, Gray’s book within a book displays calm, passable art while the metabook’s unsubtle illustrations and sloppy design make for cramped and crowded pages that are too busy to hold visual focus. The speech-bubble dialogue’s snappy enough (Blue calls people “dude,” and there are puns). A convoluted moral muddles the core artistic question—whether a whole book can be gray—and instead highlights a trite message about working together.

Low grade. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4340-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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