While the books in this series are formulaic, fortunately it is a formula that works.

READ REVIEW

MUNCH!

As with Lick! (2013) and Sniff! (2012) before, Van Fleet presents an interactive book specifically designed with toddlers in mind.

This time, the subject is mouths, and despite the title, a majority of them do not appear to be eating: “Goat mouth bearded, / Tamarin mouth mustached, / Pig mouth hiccups, / Hyena mouth laughs!” Most of the pages present at least one or two tactile features. The toad’s mouth is bumpy through raised embossing, and the bear’s mouth sports “fuzz” through a velvety overlay. The best gimmicks here are Van Fleet’s signature oversized tabs, which are easy to grab and sturdy enough for toddler manipulation. They allow readers to make an alligator mouth munch, a pelican mouth open and a beaver mouth chomp with audible clicks. The lighthearted cartoons of mischievous, grouchy and contented animals mesh well with the interactive elements. The rhyming verse doesn’t scan and changes meter in the middle of the book, making for a clunky read-aloud, but since most readers will be so busy playing with tabs, they will likely not notice.

While the books in this series are formulaic, fortunately it is a formula that works. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9425-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

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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