A nonsensical title and premise, frenetic illustrations, and butt jokes do not add up to a noteworthy Christmas story.

ONLY YOU CAN SAVE CHRISTMAS!

Santa’s head elf, Wink Silverbells, gathers all the items from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” so Santa can give them to Mrs. Claus as her Christmas gifts.

Wink, a boy elf with light skin and dark hair, serves as the first-person narrator, with his dialogue displayed in blue speech balloons. He finds the list of the unusual Christmas items in Santa’s office, including the words, “My true love gave to me…” and assumes that Santa needs to acquire these things as gifts for Mrs. Claus. The elf asks readers to help, a conceit intended to encourage participation later with whistling, honking like geese, and dancing. The concluding dance party finds Wink urging the readers to “Wiggle that butt!” and “Wilder! Crazier! More butt wiggling!” These comments are illustrated with a view of Wink from the rear holding up his tunic to display his candy-striped tights. Other cheap, above-children’s-heads moments include the comment, “What the elf?” and Wink’s assertion that the word “yes” in French is “wee.” Cartoon-style illustrations are humorous but very busy, including both male and female elves and several characters with brown skin tones; Santa is white. He explains to Wink that he doesn’t need all the items from the song for Mrs. Claus because he already bought her a vacuum. What the elf, Santa? Mrs. Claus deserves better.

A nonsensical title and premise, frenetic illustrations, and butt jokes do not add up to a noteworthy Christmas story. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4136-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Proving even pooped piggies are ready to party, this will make children want to join in.

PIG HAS A PLAN

From the I Like To Read series

A noisy barnyard is no place for a nap!

Poor pig, all he wants to do is take a short snooze. However, there seems to be something going on around him. Each of his farm friends is making noise of one kind or another. “Hen wants to saw.” “Dog wants to tap.” “Hog wants to hum.” Pig looks closer and closer to fainting from exhaustion until he spies some drinking straws and has an idea. He sinks himself in his mud puddle and breathes through a straw snorkel. He’s finally able to catch some Z’s…but all those barnyard noises had a purpose: prep for a piggy birthday celebration. So much for napping! Long’s entry in the I Like to Read series tells its simple tale in 47 words, nearly all of which are of the single-syllable, easy-to-sound-out variety. Bright pastel-and-primary full-bleed illustrations featuring big-eyed farm folk will keep eyes on the page during storytime or guided independent reading. The visual humor and the easy-reading text make this a winner for readers just starting out.

Proving even pooped piggies are ready to party, this will make children want to join in. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2428-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more