An excellent read for little ones learning about the holiday as well as those who can’t wait for Halloween to arrive.

SPOOKY HOUSE

From the Bizzy Bear series

Bizzy Bear attends a Halloween party.

Bizzy Bear enters a spooky house on Halloween night. As the friendly critter follows a dog butler through the house, readers are able to slide panels that make portraits’ eyes move, bats and animal witches fly outside, doors open and close, and more. The story ends in the attic, where a Halloween bash is in full swing. The illustrations eschew the Bizzy Bear books’ usual bright primary color palette and swap in dark purples, greens, and oranges. The comfortably rounded Bizzy Bear character stylings are still there, but the backgrounds incorporate harsh angles in their compositions to make the environment all the spookier. The sliding panels and tabs are sturdily constructed, resistant to even the harshest tugs from spooked toddlers. The shifting environments are particularly creative, drawing little readers into the creepy environment but still keeping this fun instead of truly scary.

An excellent read for little ones learning about the holiday as well as those who can’t wait for Halloween to arrive. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9327-5

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Exactly what readers want and expect from the board-book master.

POOKIE'S THANKSGIVING

From the Little Pookie series

Pookie and family celebrate Thanksgiving.

Boynton’s precocious little pig is back in this holiday installment. The family gets ready for Thanksgiving by baking pies, welcoming Nemmy and Boppa for dinner, and sharing gratitude (and pie!). Boynton’s familiar rhyming text and simple, thick-lined illustrations are exactly what readers have come to expect from this series: Pookie is a little silly, the story bounces along, and the artwork is warm and cozy. Though most of the action takes place inside, the passage of day is clear through the window, from daylight to the setting sun. Decorations and a tree with just a few leaves on it indicate the autumnal season. There are two pages where numbers are called out, presented differently from the rest of the typeface (Pookie and their parents prepare apple pie and one pumpkin pie, and there will be five guests at dinner). The only bolded digits are one and five, even though the text does mention that there will be a total of two pies—a stylistic choice that seems to point readers to counting practice but that feels a bit random. Overall, though, this is a worthy new story about one of Boynton’s most beloved characters. True to form, it’s a toddler-friendly read, providing context for the festivities and a sweet representation of gratitude. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Exactly what readers want and expect from the board-book master. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-263-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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Predictable text, a slight storyline, and cutouts that toddlers will use to turn the pages make this an acceptable...

BOO!

From the My Little World series

Six bug-eyed, smiling iconic Halloween characters are startled by mysterious shouts of “Boo!” but little ones won't be fazed.

Beginning with “Night owl, night owl, was that you? / Were you the one who shouted BOO?” the same question is repeated on each page, substituting the name of the Halloween symbol pictured. Young readers will soon know the response: “It wasn't me!” The eyes of the owl, cat, pumpkin, witch, spider, and wizard are nesting, die-cut holes of decreasing size. The character from the previous page is included on each double-page spread, providing visual continuity. The next-to-last spread shows all six characters worriedly asking, “Who's hiding out there in the night?” The final page turn reveals the obvious answer: “It's a ghost!” The placement of the word “Boo” changes on each page, which may confuse toddlers who learn to anticipate text through its consistent appearance. Despite the bright, almost garish illustrations in purple, black, orange, green, blue, and pink, the perennially smiling characters are static and flat; both witch and wizard are Caucasian.

Predictable text, a slight storyline, and cutouts that toddlers will use to turn the pages make this an acceptable introduction to the fun of Halloween. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68010-501-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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