Yes, readers, you too can be whatever you want, for Halloween and in life.

READ REVIEW

BIRDIE'S HAPPIEST HALLOWEEN

When Birdie can’t decide what she would like to be for Halloween, a trip to the art museum is inspirational.

Birdie loves everything about fall, especially Halloween and dressing up. She’s been a robot and a mummy princess in years past. But now she just can’t decide. Her friends share their costume ideas, and even her dog, Monster, has an idea of his own. In a masterful spread that shows the exhibits in one room of the museum, Rim portrays Birdie’s delight in the paintings, photos, and sculptures around her; labels, arrows, and short captions tell who they are and why they are famous: Betsy Ross, Neil Armstrong, Joan of Arc, Amelia Earhart, Sandra Day O’Connor, Martin Luther King Jr., William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, George Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Leonardo da Vinci. While Birdie’s decision isn’t instantaneous—she first asks her mom if she can really be anything she wants, and she imagines herself as several of those famous figures—her final choice is fitting both for Birdie, a white redhead with strong ideas, and for our current political milieu. Rim’s watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, and collage illustrations suit the fall theme, the colors and patterns blending to create nice, autumnal tableaux.

Yes, readers, you too can be whatever you want, for Halloween and in life. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-40746-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed...

TURKEY'S EGGCELLENT EASTER

From the Turkey Trouble series

The fourth entry in the Turkey Trouble series finds Turkey and his animal friends attending a children’s Easter egg hunt at a park next to Turkey’s farm.

Turkey and his pals want to win an “eggstraspecial” prize at the egg hunt, but the event is only for children—not animals. So the group of animal friends decides to attend the egg hunt in disguise and treat their adventure as a “secret mission.” Their disguises include dark glasses and costumes suggesting a rabbit, a bee, and a bunch of daffodils, but each attempt to participate in the egg hunt is rebuffed by the human attendees. The animals work together to create a large, egg-shaped costume for Turkey from a wicker basket, and Turkey and the boy who finds him in egg mode both win special prizes. Turkey shares his prize of a huge, jelly-bean–topped pizza with all his animal buddies. The mildly humorous story has funny animal characters, inventive action, and lots of puns incorporating “egg” into other words. Cartoon-style watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add to the humor with amusing animal expressions and the ongoing series theme of silly costumes. Several of the children at the egg hunt are children of color; the other human characters present white.

Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4037-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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