LADY LIBERTY'S HOLIDAY

When the Statue of Liberty decides to leave her pedestal and travel around the country, her absence may result in the cancellation of the Fourth of July.

America’s symbol for freedom has stood still for over 100 years and is feeling the strain: “My neck is stiff. My arms are aching. I’ve had a cramp in my leg for a decade at least.” Moreover, she’s tired of the unchanging view. On a whim and with some encouragement from pigeon friend Moe, Lady Liberty leaves her tablet and torch behind to visit many of America’s landmarks, keeping Moe posted on her travels with postcards. Like a green, robed Paul Bunyan looming large across the page, the smiling statue travels America, from the sandy shores of New Jersey and Cape Cod, then west to St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and wheat fields in Kansas, and on to the Rocky Mountains and Golden Gate Bridge. Children are given a view of each stop with expansive scenes that maximize the absurdity of the situation (as when she photo-bombs Mount Rushmore). New Yorkers and tourists are greatly relieved when Lady Liberty returns from the Florida Keys just in time for the Fourth of July. A postscript provides historical information on the statue’s creation and installation, but it’s too bad there is no final quick review of each of the landmarks presented.

An amusing commemoration. (bibliography) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-52067-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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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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The theme of friendship and loyalty endures in this enjoyable mock-horror tale for new readers.

FLY GUY AND THE FRANKENFLY

From the Fly Guy series , Vol. 13

“It was a dark and stormy night” as series fans find Fly Guy and Buzz hard at work in their 13th adventure.

Buzz and his insect buddy are playing. After an evening of making puzzles, trying on creepy costumes and admiring a drawing Buzz created featuring them both in their frighteningly fun garb, Buzz’s eyes get heavy and he climbs into bed. But Fly Guy is up to something—he is “BIZZY!” Buzz drops off into dreamland…or does he? A couple of page turns reveal Fly Guy on the verge of bringing a gigantic monster to life. A flip of an electrical switch sets the nightmare in motion. “Buzz cried, ‘It’s Frankenfly!’ ” The enormous, green creature responds to Buzz’s shout and shambles over to him. No surprise that Fly Guy comes to Buzz’s rescue just as the monster, more silly than menacing, picks him up. Morning comes with a fall out of bed to reveal the result of the project Fly Guy was determined to finish the previous night. Giggles and grape juice bring this latest installment to a satisfying close. All the while, Arnold’s deftly drawn cartoon expressions comically show the range of emotions as Buzz and Fly Guy experience fear, shock, bewilderment, determination and pride.

The theme of friendship and loyalty endures in this enjoyable mock-horror tale for new readers. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-49328-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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