THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Extraordinary pop-ups transform white paper into exquisite sculpture, turning an overplayed carol into an array of ingenious gifts. Following the format he established in The Christmas Alphabet (1994), Sabuda (Arthur and the Sword, 1995, etc.) uses the song's lyrics as a springboard for astonishing feats of paper engineering. The three French hens become Christmas tree ornaments; the five gold rings show up on the antlers of a reindeer; other fabled gifts turn up in just as creative and unexpected places: Seven swans and snowflakes swirl in a snow globe, eleven dancing ballerinas appear inside a jewelry box, and nine mice pitter-patter their feet across the head of a snare drum. Every verse is garnished with a poetic twist, and the movement of the pop-up creations are part of the poetry: Some open as large and majestic as Amaryllis blooms; others rely on small swirls of snowflakes or interwoven mouse tails for their elegance of motion. The white cut-outs are backed with rich, bright colors, like snow sculptures displayed against bright holiday lights. A holiday treasure that, with careful use, will become an heirloom. (Pop-up. 3+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80865-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again.

WE'RE GOING ON A GOON HUNT

Hunt for a bear? That’s so yesterday.

On a spooky Halloween night, we’re hunting for…a green GOON. We’re not really scared. Let’s start in a pumpkin patch. We can’t go over or under it, so we’ll just go through it. We’ll do the same in other likely goon hideouts: a swamp, a tunnel, a forest, a graveyard, and, finally, a haunted house. In this atmospheric “petrifying parody” of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a dad and his four kids, dressed in Halloween finery and accompanied by their costumed pup, search for the elusive quarry. They become more frightened (particularly dad and pooch, even from the outset) as they proceed along the increasingly murky path—except for the youngest, unicorn-outfitted child, who squeals a delighted welcome to whatever creature unexpectedly materializes. As in the classic original, evocative sound effects (“Gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss!”) ring out as the quintet moves through each hazard. Unsurprisingly, the group locates the goon, forcing them to retrace their steps home in a frenzied hurry, odd noises and all. They reach safety to discover…uh-oh! Meanwhile, someone’s missing but having a ball! Even readers who’ve never read or heard about the bear expedition will appreciate this clever, comical, fast-paced take. The colorful line illustrations are humorously brooding and sweetly endearing, with the family (all members present White) portrayed as growing steadily apprehensive. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 74.6% of actual size.)

Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984813-62-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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ROSES ARE PINK, YOUR FEET REALLY STINK

The annual classroom exchange of valentines is the backdrop for this engaging story about retaliation. Gilbert remembers how hurt he felt when Lewis tweaked his nose and when Margaret made fun of his glasses. So when he's faced with 15 blank valentine cards, each one waiting for a poem, he decides to hurt them in return. ``Roses are red, you wet your bed. I think that you have rocks in your head,'' goes to Margaret (he signs it ``Lewis''), while Lewis's card carries the sentiments of the book's title (Gilbert signs that one ``Margaret''). Gilbert feels remorse, however, upon receiving pleasant valentines from both of them, and his regret is compounded when his deceit is discovered and he is shunned by the class. An apology and two new poems from Gilbert patch things up in time for the Valentine's Day party. These hazardous waters of handing out valentines are negotiated by a cast of animals whose emotional toils will closely mirror readers' own. DeGroat pens a sympathetic look at the small hurts in life and the importance of second chances. (Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-688-13604-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1995

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