With blithe disregard for credibility or consequences, Jane showers young Milo with treats and rewards after he wreaks destruction along a parade route after blowing off parental orders. Despite being grounded, Milo chases his dog through a conveniently open gate, then knocks over a line of pushcarts along the way. Having created enough wreckage to reroute the parade, he elbows a firefighter, who benevolently gives him a T-shirt, then gets to “drive” a fire engine past his house. Showing not a trace of remorse in Johnson’s bland, smiley art, Milo returns home to mug at viewers while his sister makes a snide comment about how he missed everything. Even less discriminating readers will see a world of difference between David Shannon’s engaging, eponymous ne’er-do-well and this sociopath. (Picture book. 6-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-59034-192-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Mondo Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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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....


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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A sprightly set of illustrations from the always inventive Pearson (The Purple Hat, 1997, etc.) offer hints on one of the biggest mysteries of the ages—Saint Nick’s summer job. Joe comes to town each spring to open up Joe’s Snack Bar, selling hot dogs, ice cream, and fries to an enthusiastic and varied summertime public. Every fall, he disappears, and folks wonder where he goes. Breaking into rhyme, the townspeople offer various scenarios: “ ‘He’s gone to the moon!’/cried tiny June,” or having tea with the queen, “whispered Molly McLeen” or off to the pyramids, “yelled all the Biddy kids.” Each spread is full of friendly colors and the wiggly details of people, places, and cats. Joe and his trademark food items appear in each, too, with nibbles tossed to the alligators in Okefenokee or the dolphins from a cruise ship. Joe returns, of course, the following spring, red-checked, round-bellied, and with a full white beard. Just in case readers still don’t know how he spends the winters, the last, wordless page offers a can’t-miss clue, and the reindeer like ice cream, too. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-38319-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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