EASTER BUNNY BLUES

A pallid Easter tale posits a Bunny whose flu-triggered blues have got him so down he can’t perform, so the local animals, led by Petey the pup, pitch in to help. Four short chapters tell the story, with Old Jack providing the necessary exposition to both Petey and readers: Just a “plain old rabbit most of the year...[r]ight before Easter he gets his superpowers and creates spring magic.” Because Petey’s beloved Belle and “[a]lmost all children love the Easter Bunny” (stated with a bland assumption of cultural hegemony), the critters decide to come to the rescue. To say this tale has loose threads is a wild understatement. What is the magic that gives the Easter Bunny his “superpowers” every spring? And why can’t those superpowers overcome the flu? Isn’t it perilous to rest the whole holiday on the shoulders of one evidently frail rabbit? The goodwill manifest by the helping animals banishes the Bunny’s blues, thank goodness, so Easter will happen after all. What a surprise. Buy an extra copy of The Bunny Who Found Easter instead. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2162-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE

She’s back! Mercy, the porcine wonder, is back in all her buttered-toast eating glory. It’s Saturday, time for a ride in the pink convertible. But, does Mercy like to ride or drive? Drive! Only Mrs. Watson’s promise of extra helpings of hot buttered toast can get this clever pig to scoot across the front seat and enjoy the weekly adventure. And when next-door neighbor Baby Lincoln hankers for a little adventure of her own, the fun really begins. From the toast icons that surround the page numbers, to faux-tape spine, and hilariously gaudy over-the-top illustrations, this is a throw-back in the best sense of the word. When Mercy ends up sitting on top of Mr. Watson in the driver’s seat and Baby has to crawl over the seat to help out, it’s hard not to think of Lucy, Ethel and Ricky caught in another pickle. All’s well that ends well, of course, and that means everyone can celebrate with a stack of toast and an extra pat of butter. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7636-2332-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

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RED-EYED TREE FROG

Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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