Toddlers who need the board-book pages will be confused by the story, and there are better choices for preschoolers...

READ REVIEW

BEEP! BEEP!

Like Eric Barclay’s Counting Dogs (2015), a sturdy “book in a box” that will hold up to rough handling.

Five layered, die-cut pages visible on recto upon opening the book hint at five race cars. Each page turn changes the background and reveals in turn more information about the vehicles—which, it turns out, are not race cars like the first one but a green sedan, blue van, yellow pickup truck, and purple SUV (which looks rather more like a hearse than an SUV). Unfortunately, the rhyming verses don't always work with the illustrations. The first stanza says, “Bob is zooming to the lead,” but the red race car is actually at the rear of the pack. Similarly, the text says that “green smoke comes out” of the green car, but the smoke in the picture is clearly gray. Spoiler alert—the final page turn and verse find the animal drivers leaving their cars and changing into running gear for a track meet. The rhymes scan, and there are plenty of signs and pictures to discuss, but there is a hair too much text for toddler attention spans.

Toddlers who need the board-book pages will be confused by the story, and there are better choices for preschoolers fascinated by cars and trucks. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-79958-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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