TOOTH ON THE LOOSE

Waiting for her very wiggly tooth to come out so she may use the tooth-fairy money to purchase a birthday present for Papá, a little Latino girl is encouraged by her family to facilitate its extraction with bites of an apple or corn cob and string tied to a doorknob—to no avail. With no dinero, a homemade poetry card will have to do, even as the tooth pops out just in time for the celebration. This youngster receives the best reward for her bright gap-toothed smile—the love and appreciation of her Papá. Elya’s clever, singsong rhyme smoothly blends in Spanish vocabulary, signaled in bold within the text. “Oh, when will I lose it? / I’m hoping—espero— / that it’ll be soon, / since I need dinero!” Mattheson’s accompanying clean-lined oil illustrations, with their round shapes and bold primary colors, bring a Latin flavor to the scene, although it’s regrettable that there is no visual evidence of the loose tooth. A glossary ensures further comprehension, even though the bilingual poemas will provide no problemas. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-399-24459-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2008

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A BIRTHDAY FOR COW!

Thomas scores again after What Will Fat Cat Sit On? (2007) with another droll crowd-pleaser for the OshKosh B’Gosh set. Scornfully rejecting Duck’s hilariously persistent efforts to add a turnip, Pig and Mouse create a luscious cake—only to find themselves saddled with eating it themselves (not that they mind) when Cow obliviously falls on Duck’s turnip, rapturously declaring this birthday the best one ever. Punctuated by punch-line words (usually “TURNIP”) in red, the huge, pithy text is paired to simply drawn figures that spill past the edges, and often seem ready to pop right up from the page. From the calendar countdown on the front endpapers (Cow’s birthday is October 17th, if you’re curious) to a closing joke on the rear ones about using turnips as toothbrushes, this riotous read-aloud is guaranteed to have them rolling in the aisles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-15-206072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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