Expect demand for repeated readings (and maybe donuts too).


From the Owl and Bird series

A cheery guessing game for toddlers ready for a sweet, predictable mystery.

A perky gray owl is on its way to a party. The yellow plane flying a “PARTY TONIGHT” banner is the first clue. Owl’s pink roller skates hint at the fun to come. And of course, Owl’s leaving a bakery carrying a box clearly marked “DONUTS.” Apparently, the animals Owl meets can’t read yet, just like the toddlers or preschoolers playing along with the guessing game. The animals asking the title question wear clues to what their guess may be: A bird with a pirate’s eye patch asks, “Is it treasure?” A swan with a crown and star-tipped wand asks, “Is it fairy dust?” To each ever more fanciful guess, Owl replies, “Nope.” Lest this formula grow dull, the questions begin to vary a tiny bit, until a baby owl says, “I know what’s in the box! Is it a surprise?” and Owl replies, “Yes!” Predictable text, expressive characters, and added details in the uncluttered pictures against a cheerful teal background make this simple story surprisingly satisfying for young readers just beginning to understand story structure. The real surprise is what happens when Owl trips on a rock and drops the box.  

Expect demand for repeated readings (and maybe donuts too). (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-80036-003-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiny Seed

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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


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.


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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