Nonetheless, little listeners are sure to come back to Stanley over and over, as he explores jobs and uses equipment sure to...

STANLEY THE BUILDER

From the Stanley series

In Bee’s new series, Stanley the hamster explores jobs.

Stanley the builder builds his mouse friend Myrtle a new house, first using an orange bulldozer to clear the site, then digging the foundation with a yellow digger. Charlie (another mouse, or possibly a rat) helps pour the cement (neither machine name nor color is mentioned—a sorry inconsistency), and the two rodents use teamwork to set and level the bricks. A green crane lifts the roof beams. Shingles, windows and paint complete the house, and supper, a bath and bedtime round out what unrealistically appears to be a single day. In Stanley’s Garage, the tan-and-white hamster owns a garage and spends the day helping his friends—pumping gas, fixing a flat, adding water to an overheated radiator, and towing and fixing a car—his day ending again with supper, a bath and bedtime. Bee’s digital illustrations are the real stars here. Against a white background, thick black lines contain the vibrant colors of the simple shapes and characters, making them pop off the pages and both focusing attention and making it easy for little ones to spot familiar items. Stanley and his fellow rodents are adorable, their dot eyes and line mouths expressing emotion, though without much nuance.

Nonetheless, little listeners are sure to come back to Stanley over and over, as he explores jobs and uses equipment sure to pique their interest. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-56145-804-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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