Train-loving tots may fancy this Christmas ride all year long.

ALL ABOARD! THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN

Five cars of holiday fun and snowy scenery—now if only Santa can find his boot!

This delightful, non-narrative excursion unfolds—literally—in a sturdy volume that extends into a yuletide train over 4 feet long. As with Mara and Kolb’s first rail outing, All Aboard! (2017), once the concertina pages are folded out, each one is a unique car on the train, with the exterior of each lifting up to reveal the goings-on within. Die-cut windows, bright colors, holiday decor, elves, toys, penguins, pies, and Santa Claus make this a visually engaging read for those Christmas celebrants among the preschooler set. As the gingerbread engineer drives the train, Santa goes searching for his missing boot, which takes him through every car on the train. Questions and activities accompany each scene: “Can you find two snowflakes that match?” “Can you find a toy that zooms? One that spins?” Reversing the extended pages, meanwhile, reveals the snow-covered countryside past which the train is chugging, with skiers to count, snowmen to spot, hills, houses, and water. With so much to see, seek, and answer, this book has a ton of interactive appeal. The cartoonish illustrations are charming and rich in detail, and they are rendered in a lush, pleasing palette with a refreshingly brown-skinned Santa as the star.

Train-loving tots may fancy this Christmas ride all year long. (Board book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3295-9

Page Count: 10

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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