The mood is the same as a pajama storytime or a trip in the car just at bedtime—exciting yet contained and comforting.

AND AWAY WE GO!

An urbane, adventuresome fox provides an evening’s entertainment for an eclectic company in this nighttime escapade aloft.

When his hot air balloon is delivered, Mr. Fox wastes no time. He opens the crate in the park and climbs into the basket under a starry sky, lighted skyscrapers all around. He plans to fly to the moon. His gradual ascent allows for an elephant, a giraffe and a rhino, some show-business squirrels and high-construction–worker rabbits to join him. They acquire provisions (pizza, some milkshakes)—and of course, as some children may anticipate, one passenger too many. The sparkling skyline and lighted streets are a sweet homage to New York and serve as a lively background to this cumulative journey. Marquees and lighted signs indicate the “Fox City” music hall along with several vintage record stores and other oddly enticing places. Some of the animals look a bit worried as the balloon’s basket gets precariously more crowded, yet all seem to welcome each newcomer. Migy’s cheerful, retro line with his bright-eyed animal characters and vivid colors against deep navy offer a feeling of familiarity. While the journey’s end, not on the moon, is possibly unexpected, there’s a sense of successful adventuring nevertheless.

The mood is the same as a pajama storytime or a trip in the car just at bedtime—exciting yet contained and comforting. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9901-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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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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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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