Beware: an unquestioningly Eurocentric salute to brick-and-mortar museums.


Wolf’s reluctant visit to a museum turns out to be exciting in more ways than anyone could have foreseen.

“There once was a wolf who didn’t like museums. ‘Museums are boring,’ he told everyone.” In fact, when Wolf’s animal friends show up to invite him, he goes along solely for the company of curly-lashed lupine Wolfette. Wolf and friends are cartoons with wide, round eyes, wearing a few human accessories. The first museum room is a double-page spread of an art gallery, containing portraits with humorous, wolflike resemblance to world-famous subjects. Older readers will chuckle at the artists’ names, which include Leonardo da Wolfinci and Wolfmeer. Wolf soon meets museum guard Barnabas, a rat in a blue uniform. Barnabas begins to help Wolf appreciate the artwork until he learns that a “tribal mask” has disappeared from its pedestal in the "early art" gallery. Searching for the mask, the two new friends move past interactive exhibits, natural history dioramas, dinosaur skeletons, and more. Barnabas imparts museum etiquette and wisdom to Wolf as Wolf uses logic and observation to track down and expose the thief. Wolf evolves from indifferent visitor to active promoter, and even the thief finds museum-inspired happiness. The lack of specificity around non-European cultures in both text and illustrations, and the unfortunate—if not downright racist—implications behind the simian-appearing thief’s reasons for stealing the generic “tribal mask” mar the intended endorsement of museums.

Beware: an unquestioningly Eurocentric salute to brick-and-mortar museums. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-7338-6740-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.


From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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