I LOVE TO GOBBLE YOU UP!

From the Made With Love series

This short, sweet, and silly Thanksgiving puppet book is no turkey.

Despite a title suggestive of a treatise on unrepentant cannibalism, this book should prove a read-aloud delight for caregivers and toddlers alike. Seemingly indestructible, it features plush turkey feathers that extend from the top of the book to adorn the turkey depicted on the cover and on each succeeding two-page set piece. The message is simple: “If kisses were gobbles, I’d gobble you up! // I’d gobble your nose… // and your cute little toes.” The brief text includes only two additional sentences, with a total of five additional “gobbles.” “Gobbles” may be read aloud, turkey-style, or while miming munching of the relevant extremities; either way, much giggling should ensue. Author/illustrator Magsamen’s artwork is done in faux-needlecraft style, as though assembled from pieces of felt stitched to the backgrounds, and embellished by copious hearts. The two turkey protagonists are rendered with a nonrealistic, cartoonish simplicity, with blank expressions that nonetheless imply affection, curiosity, and playfulness. They’d look right at home in a Thanksgiving episode of South Park. Varied compositions, with turkey No. 2 in the foreground or on a distant barn roof, or turkey No. 1 standing on grass, then on a fence, and then backside toward readers, create an impressive sense of action while keeping turkey No. 1 firmly attached to its feathers.

Delightfully delicious. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-11092-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Plays to Rowling’s fan base; equally suited for gifting and reading aloud or alone.

THE CHRISTMAS PIG

A 7-year-old descends into the Land of the Lost in search of his beloved comfort object.

Jack has loved Dur Pig long enough to wear the beanbag toy into tattered shapelessness—which is why, when his angry older stepsister chucks it out the car window on Christmas Eve, he not only throws a titanic tantrum and viciously rejects the titular replacement pig, but resolves to sneak out to find DP. To his amazement, the Christmas Pig offers to guide him to the place where all lost Things go. Whiffs of childhood classics, assembled with admirable professionalism into a jolly adventure story that plays all the right chords, hang about this tale of loss and love. Along with family drama, Rowling stirs in fantasy, allegory, and generous measures of social and political commentary. Pursued by the Land’s cruel and monstrous Loser, Jack and the Christmas Pig pass through territories from the Wastes of the Unlamented, where booger-throwing Bad Habits roam, to the luxurious City of the Missed for encounters with Hope, Happiness, and Power (a choleric king who rejects a vote that doesn’t go his way). A joyful reunion on the Island of the Beloved turns poignant, but Christmas Eve being “a night for miracles and lost causes,” perhaps there’s still a chance (with a little help from Santa) for everything to come right? In both the narrative and Field’s accomplished, soft-focus illustrations, the cast presents White.

Plays to Rowling’s fan base; equally suited for gifting and reading aloud or alone. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-79023-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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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