Cozy, repetitious autumn fun for toddlers and younger preschoolers.


Rhyming verses follow a group of cats for some pumpkin picking and carving fun before trick-or-treating.

“Pumpkin orange, / pumpkin round, / pumpkin hiding... / pumpkin found! // Pumpkin lifting, / pumpkin fall, / pumpkin rolling, / pumpkin ball!” The words that follow “pumpkin” are sometimes adjectives, sometimes nouns, at times an activity depicted, and occasionally references to actual pumpkins, making the illustrations essential for decoding, though they don’t always help with some of the vocabulary: “…gleaming…glow…glaring…show” is illustrated with the cats in front of their tree home, two jack-o’-lanterns lit up, and a kitten in a third one. The ending is especially satisfying, one larger cat giving a smaller one a hug while three others curl up with the largest gray cat on a sofa with a book: “Pumpkin tired, / pumpkin fed, / pumpkin story, / pumpkin bed.” Since every other word is “pumpkin,” the term will wear on many children much beyond the toddler stage long before the end, and a couple rhymes are rough: “mom” with “chum,” for example. The artwork, done with colored pencil and acrylic glaze, is both childlike and nicely textured, the six cats easily differentiated, especially the elder dark gray parental figure who wears half-moon specs. The rear endpapers give directions for carving a jack-o’-lantern, adults doing all the cutting after kids have drawn the facial features.

Cozy, repetitious autumn fun for toddlers and younger preschoolers. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77278-092-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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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