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A quirky treat for the bathroom obsessed.

There’s more animal poo outside the zoo!

Zookeeper Bob McGrew, a brown-skinned boy, is back and all set to vacation with his animals. How are they traveling? By poo, of course! Led by the series’ previous zoo visitor, light-skinned poo collector Hector Gloop, this bevy of zoo residents, including an elephant, a lion, a giraffe, and a flamingo, climb into a poo-shaped flying contraption and set off in search of various samples. They’re on their way to Kerplink, aka “the Land of Living Poo,” also home to an assortment of dinosaurs, and as they travel, “Dear old Hector never stopped / catching anything that plopped.” They find the stools of a stoat, a hare, a bear, a mountain goat, a yeti, and more. But they’re also in search of a living creature said to be made up of poo. Can they find it, or will they end up being eaten by a hungry dinosaur? A diverse group of zoo visitors is waiting back at the zoo to find out! Appealing, action-filled illustrations show the animals on their oddball journey, and while the rhyming text is sometimes awkward, young readers and listeners won’t mind a bit; they’ll be left hyperventilating in a plethora of giggles. Lovers of toilet humor will appreciate the multitude of poo references (bolded for extra emphasis). Without a doubt, this tale is full of absurdity, fun—and, of course, poo. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A quirky treat for the bathroom obsessed. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-68010-283-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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

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 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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