Just sing the song; this sanitized variant is an additional purchase at best.


An unscary twist on the traditional Halloween song for first-time trick-or-treaters, illustrated with Magsamen’s signature simulated stitching designs.

There are no witches in the air in this book; the wind does not blow out the light. Instead the verse starts with “pumpkins giggling all day long,” which rhymes with “Let’s sing a song.” Continuing in this sweet mode, the second pumpkin says, “We shine so bright!” and the third one agrees, “Yes, we’re a beautiful sight.” On the fourth spread the rhythm breaks down. That pumpkin says, “We’re a little bit spooky and kooky too.” The final line stretches to rhyme: “We spread a lot of love, that’s what we do!” This revision misses the point of the original—to help young children feel brave as they learn about the mildly scary tradition of Halloween. Counting down, inherent in the original, is also eliminated in this version, though one could count the stars, smiling spiders, bats, and even hearts that decorate the pages. The cover, first page, and last page show five smiling pumpkins stacked willy-nilly. The three middle spreads show just one pumpkin each, with the fourth pumpkin rather arbitrarily sporting a witch’s hat.

Just sing the song; this sanitized variant is an additional purchase at best. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-30578-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Sweet—but more for adults than children.


A doting pair of adult bears follows a baby bear through a busy day.

These fully engaged caregivers are clearly awed by the little cub, starting with “You’re the morning sunshine” and ending with “you sleep so peacefully / beneath the twinkling stars.” In between, the baby bear paints a picture, sings with one adult, tickles with the other, drinks cocoa, takes a walk and flies a kite, rides a bike, and is playfully swung in the air before a bath. Much of the action is communicated only by the pictures. The tender rhyming verses focus on the wonder of familial love. Every other stanza ends with the refrain: “This world of ours is full of love / when you are here with me.” Curiously, although this cub has two present, caregiving adults, the narrative, presumably addressed to the child, uses the first-person singular. The baby bear is presented as gender-neutral, first in orange-and-green polka-dot pajamas and then in blue jeans with a white shirt graced with yellow ducks. Although neither adult bear is gendered in the text, the illustrations use stereotypical cues: One wears a yellow dress decorated with hearts; the other wears a striped shirt (and no trousers). No one can miss that the baby bear is the adults’ little darling.

Sweet—but more for adults than children. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-603-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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