SCRUBBA DUB

Van Laan is known and respected for her abilities with story rhymes. In Scrubba Dub’s pre-cursor, Tickle Tum (2001), also illustrated by Pons, the verse moves the story forward and delivers fresh ideas to make supper time more palatable. This bath-time account, however, is rather soggy. The text stumbles from rhymes into halting, herky-jerky tongue stoppers. It begins well enough as a toddler bunny is undressed and prepared for cleansing, “Ewww yuck / sticka stuck! Off goes romper suit / tug tug pull. / Off go sneaker sneaks / tubba tub’s full.” But the reader is soon fumbling for verbal equilibrium and struggling with quasi-words as in “Tippitta dippitta tugboat toots.” The illustrations, in powdery purples and blues, depict tub scenes familiar (and ordinary) to youngsters, e.g. toys, bubbles, soap, water. Clearly happy and harmonious, mommy and babies faces are beaming with love. Pons’s softly lit paintings use watercolors and chalk to appealing effect and her artwork saves this story, but Scrubba Dub as a whole doesn’t offer up anything new or interesting to the saturated bath theme market. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-84459-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2003

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A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween.

TEENY TINY GHOST

This board book twists the traditional “Teeny Tiny” tale into a less-scary Halloween treat.

This version uses a singsong-y rhythm and cadence to tell the story. “In the teeny tiny barn / Of a teeny tiny house... / Lived a teeny tiny ghost / and a teeny tiny mouse.” Of course the ghost (being teeny tiny) is not very frightening. “But the determined little ghost / Let her mighty courage through / And with a teeny tiny breath / She said a teeny tiny: boo.” Spoiler alert: After just seven page turns the ghost and mouse become friends: “And now the teeny tinies play / In the teeny tiny house. / Just a teeny tiny ghost / And her best friend, mouse.” Pumpkins decorate the cover and final spread and illustrations throughout are in autumnal hues. The fairly high-for-the-format word count—19 to 21 words per page—may be more than toddlers will sit still for, but the “teeny tiny” repetition and rhymes will help. The size (just 6 inches square) makes using the book with a group a challenge, but with a lap-sitting child, it’ll be a pleasure.

A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31848-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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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