The overall effect of this story is similar to eating too much Easter candy—sweet at the moment but not nourishing.

EASTER ELF

One of Santa’s elves joins the Easter Bunny’s elves, who are busy at their spring-training camp perfecting techniques for assisting the Easter Bunny.

Narrator Easter Elf is one of many who are practicing weaving baskets and shredding grass when one of Santa’s elves on a reindeer-training flight crash-lands at the camp. Easter Elf shows Christmas Elf around the camp, where she succeeds at the Easter-prep activities with the sort of annoying, stereotypical showoff behavior often seen in strong fictional female characters. However, she finds she can’t stand the smell or taste of eggs and appears to vomit in a patch of purple grass. The story is told through speech balloons and commands from the camp loudspeaker that include lots of puns, many of which are likely over the heads of the intended audience. Digitally created illustrations in candy-bright colors use multiple spot illustrations layered with speech balloons for an overall frenetic visual effect that is rather dizzying. The elves have the look of cartoon characters, and the narrative has the sort of fast-paced, exclamatory dialogue and quickly shifting settings seen in animated television series. Easter Elf has glasses, light skin, and turquoise hair. The other Easter elves have hair in different pastel shades, and two have brown skin. Christmas Elf has intriguing candy-cane–striped hair in a long braid and brown skin.

The overall effect of this story is similar to eating too much Easter candy—sweet at the moment but not nourishing. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9991437-7-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: KWiL Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

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. 2, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How to Catch… series

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. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more