Formula aside, there are many belly laughs to be had from the sheer “just-because” wackiness of this creation.

DON'T SPLASH THE SASQUATCH!

Sasquatch is a weird and wacky critter with a penchant for water; he wants to sit beside the pool, but he doesn’t like to get wet, because it makes his fur “all squizzlefied,” a situation predictably set up for disaster.

Lifeguard Blobule gives him permission to take a seat by the pool, but one by one, other large and fanciful critters conspire to break the rule and splash the Sasquatch. Miss Elephant Shark, Mr. Octo-Rhino, Miss Goat-Whale, and Miss Loch-Ness-Monster-Space-Alien all jump in, splashing as much as should be expected from their bulk. Prima donna Sasquatch gets madder and madder, until, as predicted, his hair gets…squizzlefied! Once they realize what they have done, the friends make amends by spinning, shimmying, and styling the offended creature, and they all end up throwing a glorious pool party in which everyone gets wet. The energy and wackiness of the characters are effectively conveyed by Staake’s colorful, computer-generated cutout illustrations, which give the impression of carefully controlled chaos as the figures romp and splash through the pages. There is a hint of a well-used formula here, and the book’s similarity to the previous Don’t Squish the Sasquatch (2012) may leave some readers feeling short-changed.

Formula aside, there are many belly laughs to be had from the sheer “just-because” wackiness of this creation. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-5233-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Out in time for the chilliest season, this offers a solution to winter blues while adding to the growing list of yeti...

THE THING ABOUT YETIS

When the winter gets rough, what is a yeti to do?

Readers follow a nameless yeti accompanied by a stuffed toy yeti in a simple narrative. Yetis love several things about winter: waking up to quiet, snowy mornings, drinking hot chocolate, sliding down hills, building snow castles, frolicking in the snow and pretending to be Godzilla, ice-skating “Yeti style” (belly down). Nevertheless, it isn’t entirely grand for yetis in the winter, for they, too, experience winter blues, when hot-chocolate supplies have been depleted and their cold, wet fur won’t dry. And so they miss the warm summer: playing outdoors for long hours, looking for sea creatures, producing sea-monster beauty contests, building sand castles, and zipping down splashy slides, also yeti-style. They miss the summer nights and listening to the sound of crickets, wishing on shooting stars, and gazing at the hundreds of fireflies. Vogel, in his debut as both author and illustrator, contrasts the white, gray, barren winter spreads with lively green backyards, sunny beach days, and blue summer nights. The yeti’s expressions merit great attention, as do the nod to a yeti-fied version of a Sendak classic and such important scene-setting details as the radiators found in cold-weather homes.

Out in time for the chilliest season, this offers a solution to winter blues while adding to the growing list of yeti protagonists. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4170-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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