A pinktypical bit of problem-solving with a holiday theme.


Pinkalicious turns a “Secret Snowman” gift from fashion disaster to fab in this easy reader outing.

Joining a recent spate of holiday celebrations that never actually mention a specific holiday, the episode begins when Pinkalicious pulls classmate Molly’s name from the bowl at school and decides to knit her a “pinkamazing” sweater. Unfortunately, the project is beyond Pinkalicious’ knitting powers, and the finished result is a sad mess. What to do? Enter Dad, on his way to an “ugly holiday sweater party” at work…and the next day Molly is delightedly modeling a sweater so encrusted with garland, pompoms, candy, and small ornaments that the ragged original is transformed. In no time Pinkalicious is teaching the entire class, including Ms. Penny, the teacher, how to knit and decorate holiday scarves and other small projects because: “ ’Tis the season to make everything sparklerrific!” In similarly oblique visual nods to certain December festivities, the sedate, finely detailed illustrations feature a gaudy evergreen on Dad’s sweater and a brown-skinned classmate knitting, and then rocking, a red, green, and black scarf. Pinkalicious presents as White (as do Ms. Penny, Mom, Dad, and brother Peter), Molly presents as Black, and the class is racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pinktypical bit of problem-solving with a holiday theme. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-300388-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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Big fun for new readers who are ready to turn their Where’s Waldo skills to finding text.


It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Big Bunny!

Controlled, repetitive text invites children to read short sentences directing them to find “a foot…a hand…a tail,” and so on. These named body parts belong to a figure that isn’t wholly visible until the book’s end, provoking readers to search them out in the detailed images. Their stark whiteness makes them stand out on the pages, which depict a busy, vibrant setting reminiscent of those in Richard Scarry books and are likewise populated by anthropomorphic animals going about their days. Shifting perspective and scale make it clear that the creature is not just another one of these animals, and many readers will use the title and cover image to infer that they belong to the eponymous Big Bunny. The reveal at the conclusion is that Big Bunny is not a giant but a large helium balloon of the sort seen in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While this clever conceit is carried out with accessible text, there is a little quibble: the saturation and intentional busyness of the illustrations leaves little rest for new readers’ eyes. The sentences and vocabulary are simple, but finding them on the page is the challenge here.

Big fun for new readers who are ready to turn their Where’s Waldo skills to finding text. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3458-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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These reindeer games are a bit tired but, given the series’ popularity, should have a large, ready-made audience.


The How to Catch A… crew try for Comet.

Having already failed to nab a Halloween witch, the Easter Bunny, a turkey, a leprechaun, the Tooth Fairy, and over a dozen other iconic trophies in previous episodes of this bestselling series, one would think the racially diverse gaggle of children in Elkerton’s moonlit, wintry scenes would be flagging…but no, here they lay out snares ranging from a loop of garland to an igloo baited with reindeer moss to an enticing candy cane maze, all in hopes of snagging one of Santa’s reindeer while he’s busy delivering presents. Infused with pop culture–based Christmas cheer (“Now I’ve already seen the shelf with the elf”), Comet prances past the traps until it’s time to gather up the kids, most of whom look terrified, for a group snapshot with the other reindeer and then climb back into harness: “This was a great stop but a few million to go / Christmas Eve must continue with style!” Though festive, the verse feels trite and unlikely to entice youngsters. A sprinkling of “True Facts About Reindeer” (“They live in the tundra, where they have friends like the arctic bunny”) wrap up this celebration of the predatory spirit. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

These reindeer games are a bit tired but, given the series’ popularity, should have a large, ready-made audience. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 9781728276137

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2022

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