Slapstick fun for any season.

Sometimes the holidays get messy.

When a light-skinned leprechaun—complete with red beard and clover-adorned hat—appears at the end of a rainbow on a hill dotted with tulips, he’s all set to bury his gold…until the Easter Bunny hops over in a huff. The leprechaun is digging up all the tulips where the bunny was planning to hide his eggs. Their argument escalates, and readers will be reminded of Looney Tunes battles between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as each employs more and more outrageous traps and tricks to humiliate the other. The duo keep the fight up until a new visitor arrives; although St. Valentine’s Day has passed, a plump, light-skinned Cupid is ready to start planning for next year—allowing the two to join forces against a common enemy. The text is told in rhyming stanzas: “ ‘Gold!’ cried the bunny, / but when he bent over, / the leprechaun pushed him / facedown in the clover!” It’s not Shakespeare, but it moves the plot along. The digital illustrations are riotously funny, and the final image of the three spring holiday mascots scowling at one another, having reached an uneasy friendship, will have readers giggling all year long. Skilled storytellers will enjoy hamming up the action as the characters attempt to assert their dominance over their hillside home. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Slapstick fun for any season. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-37426-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2022


A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies.

Pigeon finds something better to drive than some old bus.

This time it’s Santa delivering the fateful titular words, and with a “Ho. Ho. Whoa!” the badgering begins: “C’mon! Where’s your holiday spirit? It would be a Christmas MIRACLE! Don’t you want to be part of a Christmas miracle…?” Pigeon is determined: “I can do Santa stuff!” Like wrapping gifts (though the accompanying illustration shows a rather untidy present), delivering them (the image of Pigeon attempting to get an oversize sack down a chimney will have little ones giggling), and eating plenty of cookies. Alas, as Willems’ legion of young fans will gleefully predict, not even Pigeon’s by-now well-honed persuasive powers (“I CAN BE JOLLY!”) will budge the sleigh’s large and stinky reindeer guardian. “BAH. Also humbug.” In the typically minimalist art, the frustrated feathered one sports a floppily expressive green and red elf hat for this seasonal addition to the series—but then discards it at the end for, uh oh, a pair of bunny ears. What could Pigeon have in mind now? “Egg delivery, anyone?”

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781454952770

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023


In the market for an understated Christmas classic? Behold! A Christmas miracle!

A dynamic picture-book duo turn their attention to one of the great mysteries of our time.

For those literal-minded children out there, this book serves to answer some essential questions about basic Santa-related logistics. We all know that Santa is supposed to go down the chimney to deliver gifts, but how? “Does he cinch up his belt? Or shrink himself down to the size of a mouse?” That particular speculation is accompanied by an image of a small Santa standing on the edge of a chimney looking down into the abyss. Synched perfectly with Barnett’s gentle yet hilarious questions and often silly propositions (“Or does he slip through the pipes and come out of your faucet?”), Klassen’s tan-skinned Santa is as funny and expressionless as a bearded Buster Keaton. Curiosity runs wild as Barnett ponders everything from Santa doing the laundry in children’s basements to his ability to get along with every household dog he meets, while Klassen’s there to bring each possibility to life. Don’t look for any definitive answers in this story, though. As the last line states, “Santa goes up the chimney the same way he comes down. And I have no idea how Santa does that. But I’m so glad he can.” For all that it leans heavily on absurdity, this book exhibits some serious heart. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

In the market for an understated Christmas classic? Behold! A Christmas miracle! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781536223767

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

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