A wholly earned celebration.

MALAIKA'S COSTUME

Hohn's debut children's book explores Caribbean culture as it follows Malaika on her determined path to creating her dream carnival costume.

Malaika fills with excitement when she thinks about her carnival costume and dancing with the other children. If only Mummy could fly home from Canada to witness it. With no money sent from the north, Malaika begins to lose hope that her costume will be made at all. Luckily Granny's resourcefulness and Malaika's quick thinking bring a beautiful costume to life. Highly saturated folk-art imagery captures the warmth and vibrancy of the islands. Luxbacher’s collage style lends itself to a child's perspective, depicting only what is relevant to Malaika. Doodles on lined paper in the corners and outer edges of the pages suggest that Malaika writes to her mother constantly and serve as indicators of Malaika’s moods. The Caribbean dialect rhythmically carries the story forward without losing readers not familiar with it. Hohn's story teaches readers a bit of Caribbean culture while focusing on the emotional turmoil of a child separated from her parent; the juxtaposition of a heavy, serious topic with a lighthearted, joyous cultural activity balances the mood. The story ends on a high note, with a bonus panel on the final page that parents will enjoy.

A wholly earned celebration. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55498-754-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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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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