SEE SANTA NAP

From the Adventures of Otto series

Milgrim is still on a roll with his clever early reader series featuring Otto the robot and his group of animal buddies. In this fifth entry in the series, Otto and friends are all on an island vacation with Santa, who just wants to kick back and enjoy some rest after passing out all those gifts. As Santa tries to nap, each character uses a new Christmas gift to interrupt the poor tired fellow. Otto finally uses his new fishing rod to save Santa by hooking him by his candy-cane-printed swimsuit and flinging him up into the robot’s tree house for a well-deserved rest. Though Milgrim uses the stereotypical short sentence structures found in lesser beginning readers, in his hands the short strings of repetitive words are hilarious. He also has a deft touch with his humorous illustrations full of quirky characters and slapstick comedy. Though beginning readers will love this latest Otto story, preschoolers and older kids will enjoy it too (as will the grown-ups, who know what it’s like to need a nap after Christmas). (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85928-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2004

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While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book....

YOU ARE MY PUMPKIN

Young children won't understand the metaphors but will appreciate the sentiment made clear by the repeated, Halloween-themed declarations of love in Wan's latest board book.

Each of the seven spreads presents an endearment illustrated by an object drawn with heavy outlines and just enough detail to invoke its essential characteristics. Lest it become too maudlin, between the “sugary, sweet candy corn” and a “purr-fect, cuddly kitty” is a “wild, messy monster.” Wan manages to make each drawing expressive and distinctive while relying on just a few shapes—crescents or circles for eyes, dots or ovals accenting cheeks. Although each spread stands alone, there are quiet connections. For example, the orange of the pumpkin is repeated in the candy corn, and the purple that adorns kitty's hat and bow becomes the prominent color on the next spread, setting off the friendly white ghost nicely. The same purple is used for the spider's body on the next to last spread. Subtle, shadowed backgrounds repeat the patterns found elsewhere in the book. For example, the background of the page with the kitty includes pumpkins, hearts, and hats and bows like the ones kitty is wearing.

While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-88092-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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GINGERBREAD MOUSE

What kind of house would be best for a mouse? This well-equipped rodent has a complete wardrobe, furniture, and even her own sled and backpack. Bratun’s detailed paintings introduce a cute mouse character whose cozy home in a tree is ruined by a falling branch. She decamps to a nearby home and takes up residence in their gingerbread house, making new furnishings out of household materials. On Christmas Eve, Santa provides her with an even better home in a furnished dollhouse, and the little girl of the house leaves her a gingerbread mouse cookie as a present on Christmas morning. Little girls who like miniatures and dollhouses will enjoy this simple story, with three different houses full of tiny details. Includes a recipe for gingerbread cookies. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009080-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2003

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