A birthday party sparks a day of joyfulness for a young boy. Amidst the jollity, Daniel spies balloons, a snoozy cat, and a candle-bedecked cake, and hears the cacophony of fun that is synonymous with children’s parties. His favorite part of the festivities is the “Happy Birthday” song. This pleasant feeling of merriment and well-wishing extends itself beyond the party as Daniel spreads good cheer throughout the day. “Happy to you!” becomes his benediction as he bids good day to everyone (and thing) he meets. Nothing is excluded from his salutations: from the stuffed animals lying around his house to the wide world outside, Daniel hails the world with hearty joviality. When at last Daniel drifts off to sleep after his exciting afternoon, it’s with a sigh of pure contentment, secure in the knowledge of a day well and lovingly spent. Cohen (Digger Pig and the Turnip, not reviewed, etc.) adroitly conveys Daniel’s exuberance—a pinch of silliness and a dash of nonsense words add to toddler appeal. “Wind wiggled the trees, wiggledy, wiggledy, flippity leaves. And Mommy said, ‘Happy to you, flippity leaves.’ ‘Happy to you lippity leaves,’ Daniel said.” Litzinger’s bright pastel illustrations echo the liveliness of the tale. Cheerful domestic scenes comically depict Daniel and his mom capering about with abandoned bliss. The full-bleed paintings, laden with color, are warmly inviting. Like an unexpected gift, Cohen’s bubbly tale will brighten reader’s days. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2001

ISBN: 0-618-04229-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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


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.


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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