Like Jerome’s, its heart is in the right place.

HOW TO GROW HAPPINESS

From the Jerome the Gnome series , Vol. 1

With the help of his forest friends, gnome Jerome learns a valuable lesson about happiness—or maybe gardening.

A bright yellow bird named Warble flies through the Garden of Wonder, landing in Jerome’s open window. Warble offers Jerome a “tiny black seed” that she calls “the seed of happiness.” Jerome offers a piece of bright red yarn—the “perfect” thing for Warble’s nest!—in exchange. When the seed doesn’t do anything, however, Jerome worries that it may be broken. Friends Beamer the robot and Nutilda the squirrel suggest sunlight, and Sir Surly the turtle prompts Jerome to toss the seed into the pond for water. It takes Sherwin Wigglesworth, a jaunty worm with a monocle, to show Jerome how to plant his seed. Jerome and friends are impatient for the seed to grow, until Glinda, the butterfly fairy (who just happens to be fluttering by), points out the missing ingredient: love. “The best things always grow from love.” Jerome nurtures his seed with water, food, love, and some of his favorite things placed all around. It grows into a giant green watermelon that everyone can share. Though it doesn’t really hang together logically, DiPucchio’s story captures an innocence in tune with the very young. Kaufenberg’s illustrations are appropriately bright and cute, depicting Jerome as a white garden gnome with a pointy red cap.

Like Jerome’s, its heart is in the right place. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63565-140-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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