IF YOU'RE A MONSTER AND YOU KNOW IT

In this rollicking interpretation of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” brightly colored, digitally created monsters à la Caldecott Medalist Ed Emberley's Big Scary Green one run amok, wriggling and roaring, stomping and twitching! The never-frightening creatures are rendered in eye-popping psychedelic colors against a flat black background and feature horns, antennae, claws, teeth and any number of eyes. It’s a family affair: The father-daughter pair cleverly interprets the text with lots of satisfying onomatopoeia and monstrous movements, while Rebecca Emberley's daughter, performing songwriter Adrian Emberley, provides an online version available for download. Monsters are instructed to snort and growl, smack their claws, stomp their paws, twitch their tails and perform other monster-appropriate activities on command, and it’s impossible not to picture young children dancing along to the dynamic beat, with glee. Not for a quiet storytime but great for nursery and school groups or lively one-on-one reading, this will be a favorite with adults and children alike, allowing for both imaginative play and a raucous but structured outpouring of energy. Roar roar! (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-21829-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy.

THE LITTLE GHOST WHO LOST HER BOO!

What can a ghost do when she’s lost her boo?

Little Ghost has a dilemma. Attempting to frighten an unsuspecting human (who presents White), she finds to her dismay that, instead of her signature sound, only “a rush of cold air” escapes her mouth. Mama Ghost sympathizes but fears her child’s “fright nights are done.” Not one to give up easily, Little Ghost launches a search. She encounters her friends Owl, Pigeon, and Rooster, whose sounds are all similar to “Boo”; unable to join Little Ghost in her search for her boo, they offer to lend her their cries. She declines, explaining that, while the calls are perfect for them, they aren’t as scary as hers. She finally heads home, despondent, and meets another pal whose voice resembles her own. In an unexpected concluding twist, Little Ghost locates the friend she most needs, the one who will assuredly help reclaim her boo-tiful sound. This cute but thin rhyming New Zealand import will appeal to ghost fans; they’ll definitely want to comply—loudly—with the final instruction. The jaunty rhyming couplets mostly succeed but are sometimes awkward. Illustrations and white text type pop against saturated turquoise backgrounds. Occasionally, certain words and onomatopoeic sounds, such as the animals’ calls, are capitalized and appear in display type for dramatic effect. Chubby Little Ghost is amorphous, winsome, and wide eyed. Her pals have a bright, folk art–y appearance.

In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20215-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A comforting lesson for kids that the things that we fear are only as large or small as we make them.

TRAP THE MONSTER!

Children turn the tables on an impressive array of not-too-scary monsters in this interactive celebration of toddler empowerment imported from France.

Young readers show a big bad wolf, a toothy sea serpent, a furry four-eyed monster, a vampire, and a growling ogre who’s boss in this clever board book. Each four-page encounter begins, on verso, with the question, “If you are afraid of this [wolf/monster/etc.]…”; this is followed by the instruction to “…turn the page…” on recto. On the page to be turned is a die-cut pattern. Four rectangular cutouts that serve as tree trunks on recto prove to be the bars of a jail cell in which the wolf from the previous spread is imprisoned on verso, for example. The facing page exclaims, “You sent it to jail! Now lock the door with the key.” Similarly, an enormous “sea dragon” menaces a boat with a die-cut sail in one scene, but after a turn of the page, the dragon’s startled head peers out from under the lid of a simmering pot on a stovetop. “Good job! You put it in a pot! Now you can cook it with potatoes!” Cartoonishly rendered characters with big eyes, outsized jaws and teeth, and lots of personality provide the perfect blend of ferocity and silliness. Bright colors and the clever cutout gimmicks add visual appeal.

A comforting lesson for kids that the things that we fear are only as large or small as we make them. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72820-945-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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