IT'S RAINING BATS & FROGS

Share at Halloween or use as an example of playing with chants and rhymes. Perhaps this title will inspire many magical...

When gloomy weather threatens the Witch Parade, young Delia tries out various spells to change the weather.

As Delia swoops in for the Halloween event, the rain is “positively pouring buckets,” so Delia brandishes her wand declaring, “It’s raining, it’s pouring, / but raindrops are BORING. / Change the rainfall on my head. / Make it CATS and DOGS instead!” Though at first they enjoy the adorable animals falling from the sky, the witches soon begin to grumble again. Delia summons further odd pairings from above, such as hats and clogs as well as bats and frogs. But nothing seems to work to keep everyone happy. Delia decides to cast one more spell—to return things to the way they were. Her chant brings back the rain, and the parade proceeds to the delight of all. “The floats began to float. The marching band learned synchronized swimming.” All is well, but the final page turn reveals a future weather conundrum. Colby’s playful spells encourage interactive participation, while repetition of key phrases adds a pleasing rhythm. Henry also gets the illustrations right, with mostly gray tones punctuated by muted greens, purples, and orange to display the kindly coven of green-skinned gals hovering on their brooms.

Share at Halloween or use as an example of playing with chants and rhymes. Perhaps this title will inspire many magical spells. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-04992-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

As ephemeral as a valentine.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2021

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How To Catch… series

This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers.

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. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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