A humorous if silly way to introduce the concept of removing any leavened foods from the home as part of pre-holiday...

IZZY THE WHIZ AND PASSOVER MCCLEAN

Eager to help his overworked, stressed mother during the pre-Passover spring cleaning, a little boy invents a super vacuum-type machine that does more than a clean sweep.

Wearing a baseball cap and circle-shaped glasses, the round-faced, google-eyed Izzy is a whiz at creating all things science in his room, which is filled with cookie crumbs and other leftover foods. While Mom takes a nap, Izzy promises to have everything neat, clean and free of hametz (foods unacceptable during Passover) by using his “Super-McDuper Passover McClean” machine. It works like a charm in his bedroom, where everything is eaten by McClean, whirled and swirled, washed and dried and then spit out and put back in place. But cleaning the living room becomes more complicated with a McClean malfunction that first swallows everything in sight and then, with Izzy’s tinkering, spits everything out upside down. “Izzy jammed on REVERSE. / And reverse did the trick! That McClean was so slick, / Turned the whole room right over and did it real quick.” Subdued watercolors create nevertheless zany illustrations to accompany the Prelutsky-style rhymes, presenting a confident and seriously earnest youngster working out his experimental mishaps to achieve a sparkling success.

A humorous if silly way to introduce the concept of removing any leavened foods from the home as part of pre-holiday preparation. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5654-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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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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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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