Too much trick; not enough treat.

PEEK-A-BOOOO!

From the Heart-Felt series

Magsamen adds assurances of unconditional love to the Halloween section of the board-book shelf.

Echoing the message of her I Love You, Little Pumpkin (2017), Magsamen employs many of the same tricks—flaps to lift, costumes to guess at, and a mirror. Here the mirror is partially hidden behind a felt jack-o-lantern–shaped flap on the front cover. Inside, the mirror is at the center of each right-hand page with a monkey, bunny, bumblebee, or astronaut costume drawn around it. Presumably, the child can “try on” each costume by looking in the mirror. However, the drawings are too abstract and become just so much visual noise; most young children will just focus on their own reflections. The pumpkin from the cover is visible on the left side of each spread, decorated with a prominent element of the featured costume—monkey or bunny ears, bumblebee wings, the astronaut’s helmet. Again, it’s far too abstract for children not yet out of the concrete-operations stage and not yet familiar with Halloween traditions. The final spread assures readers, “whatever you decide to be, you’ll always be amazing to me.” All this is illustrated with simply colored illustrations with “stitched” outlines meant to look like felt toys.

Too much trick; not enough treat. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-545-92798-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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LLAMA LLAMA TRICK OR TREAT

From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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