As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one.

I LOVE PETE THE KITTY

From the Pete the Cat series

Dean’s heavy-lidded blue cat loves a lot of things.

In fact, Pete “loves EVERYTHING”: playing on the swing set and the slide, “riding his skateboard,” making a sand castle at the beach, “learning new things” at school, “playing guitar and singing songs,” reading “all kinds of books,” and eating sweets. (Nothing even remotely healthful is featured on his list of favorite foods.) He loves his friends and his family, and they love him too. Pete is more a phenomenon than a character, the couldn’t-care-less expression he permanently wears crucial to his brand appeal. Those people who love Pete will probably love this book, but the babies they share it with will be puzzled. No matter how much the text tells them Pete loves this or that, he looks bored in every endeavor except for singing, when his pink tongue sticking out gives him the semblance of a smile. While several of the other cat characters are similarly expressionless, enough have upturned kitty mouths to thoroughly confuse readers who have associated the smiling faces of their caregivers with love from their earliest days.

As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-243581-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Predictable text, a slight storyline, and cutouts that toddlers will use to turn the pages make this an acceptable...

BOO!

From the My Little World series

Six bug-eyed, smiling iconic Halloween characters are startled by mysterious shouts of “Boo!” but little ones won't be fazed.

Beginning with “Night owl, night owl, was that you? / Were you the one who shouted BOO?” the same question is repeated on each page, substituting the name of the Halloween symbol pictured. Young readers will soon know the response: “It wasn't me!” The eyes of the owl, cat, pumpkin, witch, spider, and wizard are nesting, die-cut holes of decreasing size. The character from the previous page is included on each double-page spread, providing visual continuity. The next-to-last spread shows all six characters worriedly asking, “Who's hiding out there in the night?” The final page turn reveals the obvious answer: “It's a ghost!” The placement of the word “Boo” changes on each page, which may confuse toddlers who learn to anticipate text through its consistent appearance. Despite the bright, almost garish illustrations in purple, black, orange, green, blue, and pink, the perennially smiling characters are static and flat; both witch and wizard are Caucasian.

Predictable text, a slight storyline, and cutouts that toddlers will use to turn the pages make this an acceptable introduction to the fun of Halloween. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68010-501-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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MY PUMPKIN

A trio of monsters enjoy Halloween festivities in this pumpkin-shaped board-book offering.

A fuzzy blue critter with horns, accompanied by a purple dinosaurlike creature and yellow beastie with pigtails, selects a pumpkin from a patch, carves it and takes it to a jack-o’-lantern contest. The rhyming text, with one line per page, is forced and doesn’t scan: “Pumpkin, pumpkin, big and steady, / Costumes and carving, time to get ready!” While the three central characters are appropriately toddler-friendly, monsters dressing up for Halloween is a bit of a conceptual stretch. The shiny orange foil cover and the bright orange pumpkins within are eye-catching, but the rest of the palette—pale blues, greens, grays and browns—causes some of the characters to fade into the scenery in Marts’ quirky cartoons. This slight slice of pumpkin pie will tempt few little trick-or-treaters. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

 

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-49332-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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