Foolish fantastic fun with enough goofy details to warrant repeated reads.

READ REVIEW

HOTEL FANTASTIC

All manner of monster and heroes are welcome at the Hotel Fantastic, but beware Soror Horribilis!

The Hotel Fantastic is a getaway like no other; there are rooms for every type of being: underwater rooms for mermaids, giant rooms for giants, anti-gravity rooms for ETs. There are even “sky rooms” for those who fly. The rooftop pool is a perfect place to play for pirates and giant squids. There is an all-night ballroom in the basement and an infirmary that offers such upgrades as “supersonic rocket-feet.” The security force is second to none, but even they can’t handle the fiery breath, the knobby knees, the deadly stare of the particularly nasty specimen of Soror Horribilis! Gibault’s bright, digitally rendered cartoon illustrations are full of robots, aliens, superheroes, monsters, and humor. It’s hard to distinguish the guests from the staff; but that makes perfect sense at the wide-angled visual punchline at the close, which shows a human girl shaking a superhero doll she has just grabbed from the “hotel.” She’s yelling (at her brother, the narrator), “I told you a million times not to put YOUR toys in MY dollhouse.” Both kids are pale-skinned redheads.

Foolish fantastic fun with enough goofy details to warrant repeated reads. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-992-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

At least the red button doesn’t initiate the self-destruct sequence—though many more stories of this ilk may cause a market...

DON'T PUSH THE BUTTON!

There is only one rule: Don’t push the button.

Larry is a rounded purple monster, similar to McDonald’s Grimace but with horns. He stands alone on the page, next to a single red button across the gutter. Red buttons almost always signal danger, but an unmarked button is also impossible to resist. Larry tells readers to not push the button. He comes in closer and growls, “Seriously. Don’t even THINK about it.” But then Larry experiences some inner turmoil. That button does look awfully tempting….He whispers in a conspiratorial tone, “Psst! No one is looking. You should give the button one little push.” With the turn of the page, Larry has turned yellow! Thus begins a familiar romp in which readers are given directions, and poor Larry gains spots and then multiplies into many other monsters. The urgency, desperation and dire pleas contradict a child’s natural curiosity (and perhaps the ever-tempting urge to do what is forbidden). Have we seen this shtick before? Yes. Has it been done in a more engaging, creative way? Yes. (See Press Here, by Hervé Tullet, 2011). But will kids care? No. They will still laugh.

At least the red button doesn’t initiate the self-destruct sequence—though many more stories of this ilk may cause a market implosion. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-8746-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

LOVE MONSTER

Monster lives in Cutesville, where he feels his googly eyes make him unlovable, especially compared to all the “cute, fluffy” kittens, puppies and bunnies. He goes off to find someone who will appreciate him just the way he is…with funny and heartwarming results.

A red, scraggly, pointy-eared, arm-dragging monster with a pronounced underbite clutches his monster doll to one side of his chest, exposing a purplish blue heart on the other. His oversized eyes express his loneliness. Bright could not have created a more sympathetic and adorable character. But she further impresses with the telling of this poor chap’s journey. Since Monster is not the “moping-around sort,” he strikes out on his own to find someone who will love him. “He look[s] high” from on top of a hill, and “he look[s] low” at the bottom of the same hill. The page turn reveals a rolling (and labeled) tumbleweed on a flat stretch. Here “he look[s] middle-ish.” Careful pacing combines with dramatic design and the deadpan text to make this sad search a very funny one. When it gets dark and scary, he decides to head back home. A bus’s headlights shine on his bent figure. All seems hopeless—until the next page surprises, with a smiling, orange monster with long eyelashes and a pink heart on her chest depicted at the wheel. And “in the blink of a googly eye / everything change[s].”

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-34646-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more