With spooky scarecrows, sneaky ninjas, and sibling tricks, this book has a little something for everyone.

READ REVIEW

SAMURAI SCARECROW

A VERY NINJA HALLOWEEN

From the Samurai Holiday series

One Halloween, Yukio gets tired of his sister following him around and says some things he doesn’t mean.

After trying to chase away Santa (Samurai Santa, 2015), Yukio the ninja returns excited for Halloween night. His little sister, Kashi, wants to be just like her big brother. As they prepare for a night of trick-or-treating, Kashi follows her brother around everywhere, asking questions incessantly—and even dressing in the same costume. Yukio has had enough and yells at his sister. Chided by his friends (“Ouch. Too far, dude”), Yukio tries to apologize, but she doesn’t want to go trick-or-treating with him anymore. While he and his friends are out, the Samurai Scarecrow—the well-known spooky urban legend—chases them, demanding his candy, which forces him into a decision that teaches him what it is to be a ninja and a brother. Taking inspiration from Japanese urban legends, Pingk creates the eerie Samurai Scarecrow. He uses a palette of black, white, orange, and mauve to convey a Halloween feel. Gray clouds, curvy trees, and ghostly tendrils create spooky landscapes and frames. His focus on small details, such as scatterings of orange feathers, adds to the movement and emotion in each scene. Playful changes in typeface add voice and emphasis.

With spooky scarecrows, sneaky ninjas, and sibling tricks, this book has a little something for everyone. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3059-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference.

SOFIA VALDEZ, FUTURE PREZ

From the Questioneers series

Sofia Valdez proves that community organizers of any age can have a positive impact.

After a trash-heap eyesore causes an injury to her beloved abuelo, Sofia springs into action to bring big change to her neighborhood. The simple rhymes of the text follow Sofia on her journey from problem through ideas to action as she garners community support for an idyllic new park to replace the dangerous junk pile. When bureaucracy threatens to quash Sofia’s nascent plan, she digs deep and reflects that “being brave means doing the thing you must do, / though your heart cracks with fear. / Though you’re just in Grade Two.” Sofia’s courage yields big results and inspires those around her to lend a hand. Implied Latinx, Sofia and her abuelo have medium brown skin, and Sofia has straight brown hair (Abuelo is bald). Readers will recognize Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist from Beaty’s previous installments in the Questioneers series making cameo appearances in several scenes. While the story connects back to the title and her aptitude for the presidency in only the second-to-last sentence of the book, Sofia’s leadership and grit are themes throughout. Roberts’ signature illustration style lends a sense of whimsy; detailed drawings will have readers scouring each page for interesting minutiae.

Fun but earnest, this rhyming romp reminds readers that one young person can make a difference. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3704-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more