“Go, Elecopter! Go!” (Picture book. 2-5)

ELECOPTER

Who keeps the savanna and its animals safe? Elecopter!

“She scans the savannah / from high above. // Patrolling the sky, / it’s a labor of love.” A chubby blue elephant with landing skids for feet and propellers on top and tail, Elecopter saves baby birds from electrical storms. She rescues a lion (blinded by an out-of-control mane) from walking off a cliff (and then gives him a mane cut with his rotors). She even helps giraffes with loose teeth. When she sees a billowing cloud of smoke and a fire in the distance, she snags her ladder and her rope and speeds off to help. “She scoops up cheetah / alone and marooned. // Then lowers a ladder / to the stranded baboons.” She saves those in danger and then puts out the fire with her hose nose. “Working for peanuts, / she’s quite the contraption. / A helicopter elephant / always ready for action.” Slack’s follow-up to Monkey Truck (2011) moves from the jungle to the savanna for more animal/machine mashup mayhem. The digitally painted illustrations are bright and zippy. Elecopter’s the only character who’s part machine, and her helpfulness will inspire. Less of a laugh riot than Slack’s previous solo effort, this will nonetheless please children by offering animals, vehicles and heroics all in one.

“Go, Elecopter! Go!” (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9304-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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An adventurous treat of a bedtime story.

BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES

A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed.

The story opens with a toddler, fists raised into the air, proclaiming, “No! No! No!” Thank goodness this not-at-the-moment-sweet creature’s mother is patient and creative as she corrals her child into a bedtime routine that may feel familiar to many readers. The words and behaviors of the child evading bed are translated into animal sounds and behaviors: wide-eyed and asking “Who? Who?” like an owl; shaking hair and roaring like a lion; hanging on for a hug like a koala. And, of course, the requisite leaving bed for a last trip to the bathroom and drink, like a human child. Zunon’s art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. Additionally, the expressions on the faces of the mother, child, and animals speak volumes, portraying the emotions of each. Arguably, the sweetest part of the story comes at the end, when the child asks to sleep with Mommy and Dad. Though the mother sighs, the child climbs in, along with “owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf.” (Readers attuned to details will notice the father’s look of delight at the parade of animals.) All characters are Black.

An adventurous treat of a bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3832-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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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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