A good-enough choice for parents and teachers to use to get the youngest goblins excited about many adults’ favorite holiday...

PEEK-A BOO!

From the Peek-a series

Laden puts a Halloween spin on her successful wordplay board books, Peek-a-Who? (2000) and Peek-a-Zoo! (2014).

Following the same pattern as in the previous titles, a die-cut opening reveals part of a picture and a few visual clues so that toddlers can guess what the page turn might uncover. As with Peek-a-Zoo!, there are only so many words that rhyme with “boo.” Some of the choices this time around are quite a stretch, especially for the board-book set. “Brew,” “flew,” and “crew” are not exactly standard toddler language, so adult readers will need to be ready to help tots negotiate it. The picture of a pumpkin labelled “peek-a-goo” makes sense only for children older than this book’s audience, who know what will happen to the jack-o’-lantern when the festivities are over. Illustrations in Laden's signature gouache style with all the expected Halloween icons—fall leaves, skeletons, spiders, mice—provide a mild “eww” factor. The final page turn is no surprise—a Mylar mirror set where a ghost’s face might be. The concluding question—“Who are you?”—alludes to the tradition of costumes and trick-or-treat and could be helpful in familiarizing the youngest readers with it.

A good-enough choice for parents and teachers to use to get the youngest goblins excited about many adults’ favorite holiday while introducing sophisticated, though still one-syllable, vocabulary. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3396-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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