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

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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The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will...

HOW TO SCARE A GHOST

From the How To... series

Reagan and Wildish continue their How to… series with this Halloween-themed title.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to scare a ghost, this handbook is what you need. In it, a pair of siblings shows readers “how to attract a ghost” (they like creepily carved pumpkins and glitter), identify a ghost (real ghosts “never, ever open doors”), and scare a ghost (making faces, telling scary stories). Also included is a warning not to go too far—a vacuum is over-the-top on the scary chart for ghosts. Once you’ve calmed your ghost again, it’s time to play (just not hide-and-seek or on a trampoline) and then decide on costumes for trick-or-treating. Your ghost will also need to learn Halloween etiquette (knocking instead of floating through doors). The title seems a little misleading considering only two spreads are dedicated to trying to scare a ghost, but the package as a whole is entertaining. Wildish’s digital cartoon illustrations are as bright as ever, and the brother and sister duo have especially expressive faces. Both are white-presenting, as are all the other characters except for some kids in the very last spread.

The tips garnered here could be used to scare just about anyone, and for those scared of ghosts, at least your carpets will be clean from all the vacuuming. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0190-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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SCAREDY SQUIRREL HAS A BIRTHDAY PARTY

From the Scaredy Squirrel series , Vol. 5

When Scaredy Squirrel plans a party, he concentrates on maximum security, not maximum fun. His checklist: "Confirm date of birth; pick a safe location; choose party colors; get tuxedo dry-cleaned; prepare cake recipe; practice breathing (to blow up balloons/blow out candles); mail party invitation to myself." That's right—there’s only one guest at Scaredy's birthday party, and it's himself. But when his chum Buddy sends him a birthday card, he reconsiders his guest list to include his pal, even making the momentous decision to hold his party on the ground instead of in his tree. Replete with the lists and diagrams that are this OCD rodent's hallmarks, the story unfolds with both humor and some useful etiquette tips. From conversational gambits (good: "If you were a tree, what type of tree would you be?"; bad: "Is that a muskrat on your head? Oops... it's a toupee") to the "dos and don'ts of partying" (do: sit quietly; don't: double-dip), kids will find much to laugh at and think about. Typically (for a Scaredy adventure), despite a plan so complete it includes tooth-brushing breaks, a surprise happens—party animals show up! Watt’s wry digital illustrations make the most of the perceived mayhem, using a host of graphic conventions to tell her story. There's no question it's a formula by now, but it's still a winning one. Many happy returns, Scaredy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55453-468-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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