A cute, original, and funny book for younger readers.

TIME FOR BED'S STORY

A sentient bed is fed up with a child’s complaints about bedtime.

It is bedtime, and Bed has something to say. The anthropomorphic piece of furniture shares that it understands that the child doesn’t like bedtime, but Bed is frustrated with the child, too. At night, Bed gets kicked and drooled on. In the daytime, the child is noisy and jumps on the bed. There’s even a stench coming from under Bed. Covered in stickers and continuously mistreated, Bed pleads for the child to try and understand Bed’s feelings. In its aggrieved narration, Bed refers to itself in the third person while addressing the child in the second person, making readers feel that Bed is talking to them. This fresh, distinctive delivery creates a quirky, humorous story. The illustrations are colorful, and expressive headboard facial features bring Bed to life. The end falls flat, with no real resolution, but the illustrations support the limited text with sweet smiles of appreciation between child and Bed. Many different emotions are portrayed on Bed’s face—annoyance, disgust, embarrassment, sadness, and more—making it an excellent vehicle for learning empathy and respect. The child illustrated is fair-skinned with dark hair, with one visiting friend who has brown skin and dark hair. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.78-by-17.88-inch double-page spreads viewed at 44% of actual size.)

A cute, original, and funny book for younger readers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0239-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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